You can give away £3,000 worth of gifts each tax year (6 April to 5 April) without them being added to the value of your estate. This is known as your ‘annual exemption’.
You can carry any unused annual exemption forward to the next year - but only for one year.
Each tax year, you can also give away:
- wedding or civil ceremony gifts of up to £1,000 per person (£2,500 for a grandchild or great-grandchild, £5,000 for a child),
- normal gifts out of your income, for example Christmas or birthday presents - you must be able to maintain your standard of living after making the gift,
- payments to help with another person’s living costs, such as an elderly relative or a child under 18,
- gifts to charities and political parties.
You can use more than one of these exemptions on the same person - for example, you could give your grandchild gifts for her birthday and wedding in the same tax year.
Small gifts up to £250
You can give as many gifts of up to £250 per person as you want during the tax year as long as you have not used another exemption on the same person.