It turns out that investing in wine cellars as an estate planning tool is more complex than one would think. The estates of Brits, for instance, who expected that a wine cellar would be valued at its purchase price as opposed to its market value for the purposes of inheritance tax may be in for a surprise, based on the information in this article.
Enterprising Brits may have been hoping their estates would pay inheritance tax based on the purchase price of their wine cellars while the appreciation in the wine cellar would be passed on tax-free to the beneficiaries. Alas, this is apparently not the case in England: Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs ("HMRC" as they call it over there) are aware that wine can appreciate, therefore wine is not a wasting asset valued at its purchase price, and the wine cellar must be valued at its open market value for inheritance tax purposes.
While wine cellars may not have favourable tax treatment, at least in England, it strikes me as the sort of asset that may pass outside of probate more often than not.
Thanks for reading,
Chris M. Graham – Click here for more information on Chris Graham.