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Readers' forum: Red herring

19 August 2019
Issue: 4709 / Categories: Forum & Feedback
Effect of sale of property to son at undervalue

I act for a client who owns a commercial property that he bought for £400 000 plus VAT in April 2016 and which he has rented out for the past three years with an option to tax in place. The tenant has vacated the property and my client has now agreed to sell the vacant building to his son for £200 000 plus VAT for the son to use for his computer software business which is trading very well. I am not sure whether the son’s business is VAT registered although this is probably not relevant.

The reason for the reduced sale is because my client wants to do his son a favour – the son is paying for the property partly by a mortgage for £100 000 and a loan from his mother (my client’s ex-wife).

It seems pretty straightforward to me but I want to check that the sale at...

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