Share Release Exit Strategy

Presently shares within your Company can present an issue if the company was to be sold in the future.

Capital Gains Tax would usually be charged to the shareholder upon sale. The current full rate is 28%. Entrepreneur’s relief may be available up to the first £5 million for each shareholder. This is dependent on any previous disposals since 6th April 2008 and the trading status of the company. The latter can be affected by the nature of assets held by the company.

Whilst the shares may qualify under current Business Property Relief and so be free from IHT, when sold these shares are replaced by cash which will be included in an individual’s estate for IHT purposes and thus taxed at 40%.

Taking appropriate advice from our unique advisers can maximise the tax efficiency of how you exit and take your funds on the sale of your shares using a Share Release Trust, shares enter a separate trust, The Share Release Trust.

This allows:

  • The shares to be sold free of CGT (Shareholder retains his full Entrepreneurs Relief to be used at a later date maybe).
  • Reinvestment can be made Capital Gains Tax free.
  • Income returns are Income Tax free.
  • The share sales proceeds fall outside the estate and so no future IHT liability.
  • The benefit of the tax free environment passes down the generations as the structure is still retained.

How do Countrywide’s Company Wills and Cross Option Agreements Differ?
Countrywide offers business estate planning tailor made to suit you and your business. It takes the Standard planning options available on the High Street a significant step further.

Countrywide’s planning provides this significant protection to the business and reduces the possible impact of Inheritance Tax dramatically. Furthermore the business and proceeds from a future sale of the business is protected for the bloodline from Inheritance Tax (IHT), remarriage, divorce and separation, creditor claims and Nursing Care Fees.

Our Planning leaves each partner or director’s share of their business to individual Family Trusts through appropriate Clauses written in to their Wills.

Furthermore the appropriate Life Cover will also be protected ensuring that these proceeds do not impact on the surviving individual’s estate.

Once the Cross Option has been executed, our planning ensures that the proceeds from any Life Assurance policy also do not form part of the beneficiary’s estate. These funds are now protected against any of the risks named above yet the surviving spouse and beneficiaries still have full access to the Trust assets.

So how does this benefit the remaining business partner?
Once again, the use of Trusts ensures that the surviving business partner still retains their original share of the business and still has the fullest of control on the whole of the business as he/she is named as a Trustee of the Trust(s) which now own the deceased Director’s shares.

This same Trust can also be utilised as a further efficient income tax planning tool. Now that a proportion of the business is held in trust any dividends paid into the Trust(s) could be distributed to beneficiaries of the trusts who may well have nil or low rate income tax.

Should the surviving Director(s) decide to sell the business only their original share of the business will enter their estate. The remaining share will belong to Trust for which the surviving Director and his/ her family are beneficiaries.

This share is also protected and cannot be assessed for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes and provides protection from attack by Long Term Care Costs, divorce, and bankruptcy.