Ritchie tells us that:
But the effect of putting so much extra woodland on the open market in the next few years is expected to lead to a rush of corporations and wealthy people taking advantage of the tax sweeteners that already exist for forestry owners, says accountant Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research LLP and an adviser to the TUC and Tax Justice Network.
\”This is about creating a massive opportunity to ensure that less tax is paid, which undermines the whole cause of selling off the forests. If I had a million pounds and I thought I have some risk of dying in the next few years, as part of my inheritance planning I could put it into forests. Then when I keel over, I can pass that on to the next generation without inheritance tax, so the government would lose out £400,000 in inheritance tax. I think an awful lot of people are going to be tempted to buy forests\”, said Murphy.
As I commented at The Guardian:
Oh Lord, Richard Murphy on tax again.
So, think through what he\’s just said.
If someone buys a forest for £1 million then we don\’t get £400,000 when they kick the bucket.
Hmm, OK, maybe that\’s not a good idea.
But hang on a minute, if they buy a forest for £1 million then we get £1 million now!
So we get £600,000 more than we would have done and furthermore, we get the money now, not whenever they kick the bucket.
We the taxpayers are making out like gangbusters by selling off the forests therefore. We get more money sooner.