For two days in a row the Telegraph – owned by two hugely wealthy men living in a tax haven – has given over its front page to demands for other hugely wealthy men who funded Brexit to escape an apparent inheritance tax liability.
But what’s the real story?
Inheritance tax isn’t quite a tax on inheritances. It’s a tax on gifts – transactions the immediate effect of which is to diminish how much you’re worth – made by individuals whether in life or on death. It’s subject to various exemptions including one for charities and another for recognised political parties.
But there is no general exemption for politically motivated spending.
The rule in question – section 24 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 – has been around since at least the Finance Act 1975. It was adopted by our Parliament – by our democratically elected MPs – and has…
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