Does Money From Family Count As Income?

This blog answers the question “Does Money From Family Count As Income?”Money from family does not count as income until it remains below an annual threshold of your annual exemption allowance. Money from family sent as a Potentially Exempt Transfer is treated as a part of the sender’s estate (when they pass away).

Does Money From Family Count As Income?

Money from family does not count as income. Gifts or money transferred to family members or cash sent to relatives is not considered income for tax purposes.  HMRC does not report monetary gifts from family members as income when calculating benefit payments. You may be getting income support, the disability living allowance or housing benefit and not have any payments for these benefits reduced due to money received from relatives.

The £3000 annual limit applies to taxes on monetary gifts by your relatives such as grandparents, parents, children, cousins or your spouse. Some benefit payments could be affected in the long run as the gifts are saved in your bank or savings deposits. The money then turns into savings, which could put you over the limit for claiming some benefits.

How much money can my grandparents send me and will it be counted as income?

If your grandparents send you money in installments of small amounts (under £3000 annually) it can be very useful for your education and daily living expenses. Payments of £250 are counted as small gifts and can be used to manage your monthly living costs. They need to be careful not to send you large sums of money over £2000.

Each grandparent can donate up to £ 3,000 in any tax year, exempt from IHT. If the full £ 3,000 is not used in a single tax year, the balance can be carried over to the next tax year. So if you don’t give cash gifts in one tax year, you can give a total of £6,000 in the following tax year. However, unused funds are forfeited if not used the following year. In short, it cannot be carried over to the 3rd year. This exemption applies to life gifts.

Do gifts and payments from surplus income qualify for a tax exemption?

Donations made with your surplus, taxed income are also exempt from tax. You must be able to prove that these gifts do not come from your savings.

This includes gifts and donations given to relatives such as:

  • Food items for your husband, wife or registered partner
  • Food items for your ex-husband, your ex-wife or your registered partner
  • Maintenance for family members who depend on you, such as elderly parents
  • Food items for under 18s or for someone in full-time education
  • Monthly or regular payments to everyone
  • Money deposits into your child’s savings account
  • Regular gifts for Christmas, birthdays or anniversaries of weddings and registered partnerships
  • Grandparents pay their children’s school fees
  • Life insurance premiums given to relatives

What is a Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET)?

A potentially tax-exempt transfer allows a person to make gifts of unlimited value without paying any inheritance tax on them. If the person lives for 7 years after giving them the exemption applies

. In case the person dies within 7 years of making the gift to someone,  the PET becomes a dependent consideration and adds to the value of your estate. If the aggregate value of the deceased person’s estate exceeds the £325000 threshold, inheritance tax will be applied to it.

Any potentially exempt lifetime transfer must meet certain conditions and can be subject to certain exceptions. The transfer is a gift from one person to another person or to a specified trust

Which gifts are tax free or exempt from inheritance tax?

The following gifts are tax free or exempt from inheritance tax:

  • Small gifts under £250

You can give an unlimited number of gifts up to a value of £250 to a single recipient, but not to people who have already benefited from your annual exemption (of £3000)

  • Gifts out of your income

Donations made from income may also be exempt from tax. This means that you can donate money from your salary or pension and it will not be deducted from inheritance tax. The donation being given has to be sourced (with evidence) from a job or other income, and not from your personal savings.

According to HMRC, these donations should form some sort of regular spending pattern. So the gifts could be monthly payments of £250. A good rule of thumb is that it probably qualifies if the gift is issued from your checking account.

If your family members are currently dependent on you due to old age or illness, gifts for them are also untaxable. These relatives also include an ex-husband, ex-wife or ex-civil partner.Gifts for the maintenance, education or training of your children aged 18 and under (including stepchildren and adopted children) are also exempt from any inheritance tax payments.

  • Wedding gifts are not taxable

           Gifts to people getting married are not taxed as long as they are made before the wedding ceremony. The amount you can give depends on your relationship with the recipient. You can give monetary gifts of upto £5,000 before the wedding ceremony of your children, like on the Saturday before a Jewish wedding.

You can send a gift worth £2,500 to a grandchild or great-grandchild. You can give your spouse a gift of £2,500 and between civil partners. Gifts of £1,000 for everyone else are not taxable.

  • Charitable and political donations. 

You are exempt from inheritance tax on gifts from UK based charities,gifts from national museums, gifts from universities, gifts from the National Trust, gifts from major political parties, gifts from registered housing associations and gifts from municipal amateur sports associations.

Additionally, if you donate to charities or political parties in your will, you may be eligible for getting charged at a reduced inheritance tax rate (36%, instead of the usual 40%) on your remaining assets of your estate. The charity must be registered in the UK to be eligible and the amount you leave to the charity must form a minimum of 10% of your “net” assets.

How much money can I send to my family without paying any tax?

You can send payments of upto £3000 a year to your family without any tax being charged for it. Money received from relatives more than 7 years before their death will not be counted by HMRC for inheritance tax deductions.

As long as you live more than seven years after making this gift, your relatives will not have to pay estate (inheritance) tax on your gift when you die. However, any income or gains obtained from this donation may have tax consequences for the recipient of the money (such as capital gains tax)

. When the gift is first given, it is called a potentially exempt transfer because, assuming you are still alive for seven years, no inheritance tax is due on it.  If you die within seven years, this is called a bank transfer and will be charged with inheritance tax.


Which property is exempt from inheritance tax when a family member dies?

Yes, some kinds of land can be exempt from inheritance tax when a family member dies. This includes:

  • Agricultural land which is free from inheritance tax under certain terms. You can transfer a farm exempt from inheritance tax. . But on the other hand some agricultural goods are not exempt from taxes, such as agricultural machinery. 

Agricultural property eligible for agricultural aid is land or pasture that is used to cultivate crops or to raise animals intensively. 

It also includes land used for growing crops,stables for breeding and breeding of horses and pasture, trees planted and harvested at least every 10 years, land currently not worked under the habitat regime, land currently not worked under a crop rotation program, the value of the milk quota in relation to the land, some agricultural stocks and securities, farm buildings, cottages and farms

  • Heritage Land owned by a person can be exempt from inheritance tax charges.  If your family member is  the owner of a building, land or objects of national scientific, historical or artistic importance, you can request exemption from inheritance tax on their behalf
  • Gifts of Agricultural Property made to a family member or some other agricultural landlord. If a donation (or part of a donation) was eligible for agricultural assistance at the time it was made.

The gift is still eligible (for an inheritance tax exemption) if it was being held by the person or family member who received it until the day of the death of its previous owner (or their own death, whichever comes first). The gifted Agricultural property has been used for agricultural activities since the donation was made.

If the person receiving the gift predeceases the person receiving the gift, the conditions for the exemption must be met both at the time of the gift and at the time of death.

If the person who receives a gift sells it to a corporation for shares of that corporation before the death of the person who gave the gift, those shares will be treated as original property.


This blog post addressed the question “Does Money From Family Count As Income?” Some cash or credit transfers between relatives which are sourced from (individual) taxed income are exempt from tax deductions. Other larger monetary gifts will be charged inheritance tax from the person’s estate when after they pass away unless they are charitable donations.As long as the total gifts for a year don’t add up to £3000, they are unxtaxable

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Does Money From Family Count As Income?

Will money from my family gifted at a special occasion be exempt from tax?

If you are planning to give your child a gift for a special occasion, you may not have to pay inheritance tax. Parents can donate up to £ 5,000 to children as a wedding or partnership gift, tax free.

The exemption is only applicable in the case the couple remains together. In case the marriage is dissolved the exemption from inheritance tax fails to apply

Small cash donations are also exempt and you can donate up to £ 250 annually to as many people as you want without paying any inheritance tax.

Are gifts of money from a relative’s surplus income taxable?

If you have enough income to support your usual standard of living, you can donate from your excess income. This includes making regular payments into your child’s savings account or paying a life insurance premium for your spouse or partner.

In order to benefit from this exemption, it is very important that you keep very good records of these donations. Inheritance tax could be due on these donations upon your death if you don’t create formal accounts for them. You should also write a good will mentioning your gifts. These gifts need to be regular, and a record of the gifts given during a person’s lifetime must be kept to avoid excessive inheritance tax payments on the person’s estate (left behind)

Grandparents can also use their income (not savings) to pay for grandchildren’s school fees.

  • Charitable Donations are exempted from tax.
  • Under certain conditions, you can give a money gift to a family member or friend in a political party.

What is the best method for transferring money to family members?

The best method for gifting money to family members while you are alive is to:

  • By transferring money directly to your beneficiary’s bank account
  • By writing a check in the beneficiary’s name

You can also give money to your loved ones after your death by leaving them an inheritance.

This is done by taking out a life insurance policy and naming the beneficiary you wish to benefit from your policy.

If you die during the life of your policy, a benefit will be paid and your closest relatives will receive their inheritance.By writing your policy in confidence, your loved ones can avoid / minimize the payment of a 40% inheritance tax and benefit from your policy as much as possible.


The Inheritance Tax Act 1984 Section 11 Dispositions for Maintenance of Family

The Inheritance Tax Act 1984 Section 57 Application of Certain Exemptions

The Inheritance Tax Act 1984 Section 57 A Relief Where Property Enters Maintenance Fund

The Inheritance Tax Act 1984 Section 3A Potentially Exempt Transfers

The Inheritance Tax Act 1984 Section 16 Grant of Tenancies of Agricultural Property

The Inheritance Tax Act 1984 Section 26 A Potentially Exempt Transfers of Properties Subsequently Held For National Purposes