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  • Writer's pictureEmma Aslett

Anne Robinson Gives Away Fortune to Avoid the "Tax man"

Anne Robinson, the former host of The Weakest Link, now 79, has revealed her plan to help her family and loved ones by distributing substantial portions of her estimated £50 million fortune to avoid inheritance tax.

She stated, “I’ve given it all away. I don’t want the tax man to have it… I’ve spread it about quite a lot, to the children. They may as well enjoy it now.”

Despite Anne's generous actions, she is not completely exempt from tax implications. The “7-year rule” stipulates that she must survive for seven years after giving away her assets to fully avoid inheritance tax.

If she passes away after these seven years, the gifts will not be subject to inheritance tax. However, if she does not survive the full seven years, the gifts will still be taxable at varying rates, depending on the year she passes away:

  • 1 to 3 years: 40% tax rate

  • 3 to 4 years: 32% tax rate

  • 4 to 5 years: 24% tax rate

  • 5 to 6 years: 16% tax rate

  • 6 to 7 years: 8% tax rate

  • 7 years or more: 0% tax rate

This principle is known as taper relief.

I recall a case where a gentleman “gave away” all his assets, believing he could avoid inheritance tax. Unfortunately, he passed away a year later, and his family was surprised to find they still had to pay inheritance tax on the assets he had gifted to them. It’s crucial to understand that when you give away an asset, you must relinquish all benefits from it. If you continue to benefit from the asset, it is considered a gift with reservation of benefit, which complicates matters further.

Moreover, simply giving away assets is not always straightforward. Without knowing the future, it’s essential to ensure you retain enough assets to maintain a good quality of life. Before making such significant decisions, seek legal advice to avoid potential difficulties for your family if inheritance tax becomes payable on a gift.

Even if you properly give gifts to loved ones, having a valid Will in place is still crucial to ensure that any remaining assets are appropriately handled.

Please contact us, we are here to help you.

Emma Aslett

0207 183 4595

The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute professional advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal, accountancy or financial advice as appropriate on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor, Accountant or Financial Advisor/Mortgage Broker before you embark on any course of action.

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