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A very reasonable argument for abolishing inheritance tax

Bankers turned to private investigators to track down one of the owners of The Telegraph in Monaco as part of a bid to have him declared bankrupt.

According to High Court documents, Investec drafted in “tracing agents” to find Alistair Barclay, 34, who had been “actively avoiding service since November 2023”.

After weeks of searching, Investec discovered Mr Barclay was living in a seafront tower block called Le Roccabella, where Sir Philip Green reportedly owns a penthouse.

The building, located in the heart of Monaco on Princess Avenue, boasts a heated 25-metre swimming pool, a concierge, a children’s nursery and a gym.

Details of the search for Mr Barclay have emerged as part of an ongoing legal case triggered by Investec issuing a bankruptcy petition against him last year. This relates to unpaid debts of almost £1m, court papers show.

The grandkids will lose it anyway – clogs to clogs in three generations.

Why bother to tax it away, with all the deadweight costs that involves, when inequality will decline again all on its ownsome?

6 thoughts on “A very reasonable argument for abolishing inheritance tax”

  1. Person in Pictland

    Avoiding that is what a trust is for. The man in the pub thinks they are an ace tax-dodging trick but as usual he’s grasped the wrong end of the stick. They are a control trick. The trustees control the moolah and dole out it, or its income, according to the original deeds or at their own discretion, depending on how it was set up.

    The “entail” was a specialist sort of trust which proved useful for 19th century novelists.

  2. Yeah well, Andrew, they use trusts, don’t they?

    The law of England and Wales allows modern discretionary trusts (which may not be what the Grosvenors use) a life of up to 125 years. So presumably a sound and sober generation would want to wind up trusts at or near 125 years and start another/others. Live seven years and Bob’s your uncle you might avoid a sudden whack of 40% inheritance tax too, at the cost of the trust paying 6% every ten years.

    I wonder whether the Grosvenors use a “ladder” of trusts, maturing at different dates. Aha; it seems they may.

    In the link in that document I find “In 2023, our economic share of tax payments totalled £112.2m”. That’s a pretty penny.

    If I take their statements at face value then they clearly don’t share the tax-dodging propensity of the Scott Trust Ltd, owner of the Guardian.

  3. You’re assuming that the trust (or trusts) are UK one’s rather than trusts from a Caribbean that makes a living out of flogging trusts and brass plate companies.

    In which case, I doubt they’re paying 6% per decade. Instead they’d be paying close to nothing.

  4. @JG: read their piece. They boast that virtually all their assets are in “onshore” trusts, by which they mean English. (Unless the cunning chaps have some Scottish trusts which under Scots Law can run forever.)

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