Executor jailed for inheritance tax fraud

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Inheritance tax rules demand that money or possessions worth more than £325,000 left behind after death are taxed at forty per cent. This can be reduced to thirty six per cent if ten per cent or more of the estate in question is left to charity. Married couples and civil partners can leave assets to each other free of tax.

In this case, Theresa Bunn was left a considerable sum after her aunt died in 2010. Ms Bunn administered the estate and declared its value for inheritance tax purposes at £285,000. It was actually worth more than £1.5m. HMRC investigated the estate and found out its true value. Ms Bunn had evaded a tax bill of around £500,000.

Ms Bunn has been sentenced to two years and eight months after admitting she had avoided the forty per cent tax on the amount she was left in excess of the threshold.

Nick Palmer is a solicitor at Barker GoteleeSolicitors in Ipswich.

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