Two years prison for attempt to dodge inheritance tax

By Lenore Rice

A 56 year old woman has been given a two year prison sentence for lying about the size of an inheritance she received and failing to disclose gifts in order to avoid paying inheritance tax.

Theresa Bunn inherited £1.5million from her aunt but told the HMRC that her inheritance was only £285,000, keeping her below the £325,000 threshold at which estates are liable for inheritance tax. Inheritances over £325,000 incur inheritance tax at 4 per cent. The HMRC says that Ms Bunn admitted to understating the value of her inheritance and to failure to disclose substantial cash gifts made by her aunt during her lifetime.

The HMRC say they began to investigate Ms Bunn when they became aware that she was financially supporting a friend and using bank accounts belonging to other people in order to hide her money from her family.

The HMRC has chosen to publicise this particular case as a deterrent to other people who understate how much they receive as an inheritance on order to avoid tax. Ms Bunn was sentenced to two years in prison.

If you require advice in respect of inheritance tax, estate planning, gifts, will writing, or any other matter, contact one of the probate solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Northern Ireland by calling 0800 840 9293.