I have some rather interesting news I picked up this week at a meeting with the PROWEGS quango; the Permanent Review Of Wills Estates and Government Savings reviews the effectiveness of distributing estates through Wills. It is a useless organisation but, from time to time, it advises the Chancellor of the Exchequer on inheritance tax matters.
PROWEGS invited me to a meeting at their office in
earlier this week to comment on the introduction the Estate Tax, effective from today. In essence, it is an across the board 10% tax on all estates regardless of their value. Chester
Currently inheritance tax is 40% and is chargeable on estate values in excess of £325,000. There are some exemptions for gifts between spouses, amounts left to charities etc, but unless you have retained a clever Willwriter, there is no escape.
The chairman of PROWEGS, Mr. Grimes Reaper Q.C., explained that creating the Estates tax is a direct result of ‘the previous government’s lack of control over public spending’. The consequence of the the spending extravagance resulted in the new coalition government axing 500 quangos to save money. However, there is the possibility of reprieve if any doomed quango is able to produce a plan that increases the amount of money going back into the government’s coffers.
Mr. Grimes Reaper’s plan is a simple straight tax estimated to reduce the government’s deficit by £66 million in its first year, rising to £100 million by 2015. It is effective on all probate work commencing today, 1st April 2011.
However, the Saddleworth Willwriter together with a group of eminent Willwriters, has found a loophole in Reaper’s plan. In an interview after the shock announcement, I made the following statement to Daily Mail:
‘Reaper’s plan is grim. It is shoddy legislation by stealth. Furthermore, it is an example of the desperate attempt this government is making to avoid bankrupting the country. We shall do everything we can to stop this tax. We have a ‘plan of a tax’ and I am certain this blatant attempt to squeeze more money out of the British public will be repealed by 12 noon on Friday’.