Free from Millions of Inheritance Tax: The Story of Margaret Thatcher’s Inheritance
Beneficiaries of the property registered under Bakeland Property Ltd. which is owned by former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher are still unknown. But what is clearly known is that Thatcher’s children are free from paying millions in inheritance tax be
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Margaret Thatcher died in April this year and left £4.7 million to her family in will. Her children Mark and Carol were left a third each of the inheritance, with the rest being shared among the grandchildren once they reach the age of 25. In Thatcher’s will, she did not mention the house in Chester Square which has a current value of £12.5 million by Zoopla. According to a press release by the Mirror, “the £12million Central London mansion where the Iron Lady spent the last years of her life is owned by an anonymous trust registered in the British Virgin Islands – a ¬notorious tax haven”.
The UK law states that people who inherit a property need to pay an inheritance tax of 40% of the property’s value (or up to £5 million) if the property is registered under the name of a UK resident. Thatcher’s property was purchased by a Jersey-based company Bakeland Property Ltd. in 1991. It was then sub-leased to a company of the same identity listed in the British Virgin Isles which is also an offshore tax sanctuary.
Tax Justice Network’s John Christensen commented that massive financial advantages for an offshore organization to possess a property or leasehold specifically when it comes to stamp duty and inheritance tax.
Richard Murphy, spokesperson of Tax Research UK said that "It has always been strange that Margaret Thatcher, that most British of PMs, enjoyed the benefits of a property registered in the BVI. It is possible that Denis Thatcher set up the trust or other offshore arrangements in order to save tax”. It can be noted that in 1979, one of the highlights of Thatcher’s leadership was to obliterate government controls on the value of money that can be shifted abroad that would be influential to the increase of offshore tax refuges.
Hugh Thurston and Leonard Day, Thatcher's friends and financial advisers are believed to hold the shares of Bakeland Property Ltd., while accountants claim that they were acting as candidates for a trust with unrevealed recipients.
Up until this date, the beneficiaries of Bakeland are still unknown. And Thatcher’s financial advisors refuse to explain why the former UK Prime Minister chose not to appear to own her own house.
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