Gift of house to disabled son lands couple $90k tax bill
A BUNDABERG couple who gave a house they owned in Brisbane to a disabled son suddenly found themselves facing a tax bill for tens of thousands of dollars.
Leigh Evans and his wife Margaret, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, allowed their son, who has the same disease, to move into the house in 1998.
Five years ago they decided to give him the house.
"We were paying all the rates and that on the house," Mr Evans said.
"It was also affecting our pensions because it was counted as an asset."
They decided to sign over the house to their son as a gift.
But five years later they got a bill from the Australian Taxation Office for $89,000 in capital gains tax.
"They later pushed that up to $93,000 because they took into account my carer's payments," Mr Evans said.
He said he admitted the couple should have gone into the matter more thoroughly.
"We didn't go to a taxation officer who deals with these things," he said.
"We just dealt with a solicitor and Centrelink."
Mr Evans said they were later able to get the sum they owed in tax reduced, but it was still a heavy burden for the retired teacher.
The couple put together a petition asking the Federal Government to change the law so people could make gifts to children who may have progressive, disabling disease without having to pay tax.
On Monday Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt tabled the petition, with 126 signatures, in Parliament.
The petition asks the Federal Government to waive the capital gains tax imposed on parents who gift property to their disabled children.
"The Evans family has expressed concern that any property gifted to a child with proven incurable and usually progressive medical conditions is still subject to capital gains tax," he said.