For those getting married, divorced or separating, tax is rarely the first thing in people’s minds however it is something that should not be overlooked. The possible sale or transfer of assets as part of a settlement is likely to have tax implications and appropriate planning is important.

Couples who are married and are living together can transfer assets between them with few tax consequences however, once a couple separates transfers between spouses may result in an unexpected Capital Gains Tax (CGT) charge. Therefore, it is important to seek advice as soon as possible to help you navigate any unexpected tax and financial implications. Our multi-disciplinary team can help support you, your family and your legal advisers with tax advice, financial planning, expert witness and valuation services.

We can help you:

  • understand the tax implications of combining or dividing assets such as property or business interests
  • advise on any overseas tax implications with the support of our Global network
  • minimise your tax exposure in preparation of a separation
  • create a tax-efficient profit extraction strategy to support a settlement
  • work with your legal advisors to calculate the tax exposure as part of the settlement process
  • acting as a Single Joint Expert (SJE) instructed by both parties or as a party expert on behalf of one party to provide a valuation of a business as well as spousal interests and shares
  • assess your family's level of protection such as life assurance and mortgage protection
  • evaluate and update any financial plans currently in place to reflect your change of circumstances
  • review and assess your pension entitlement and other assets
  • advise on investment solutions providing growth and income for a range of needs.
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Case study

Our clients Mr W, originally from France, and Mrs W (a UK tax resident) had been married for a number of years. Between them they had various business interests (in the UK and some offshore) as well as various properties in the UK, Romania and France. Some of the properties were held in sole names and others jointly.

What help did they require? How did we help them?

We were instructed to prepare an expert witness report for the purpose of divorce proceedings. The report was to include valuations of the various businesses, and to advise on the tax that would arise if the assets were sold or divided between the two parties.


Our Forensic team prepared company valuations, liaising with international advisers to each business where appropriate. Our Private Client team were then able to advise on the tax that would arise on the notional sale or separation of the assets as part of the divorce proceedings. This included:

  • a review of the tax residence status of each party
  • calculation of the capital gain arising on each asset, and
  • a review of the Double Tax Agreements between the UK, France and Romania.

As a member of the Crowe Global network, we were able to liaise with our associates in France and Romania to determine the taxes that would apply in each of those jurisdictions.

What did this mean for the client?

We were able to undertake both the forensic work and advise on international tax matters within a very tight, court agreed timescale, while catering for all the client’s needs in one place, rather than the client have to instruct separate advisors.

Contact us

Rebecca Durrant
Rebecca Durrant
National Head of Private Clients, Manchester