Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

Heir of multi-millionaire jailed for IHT evasion

There seems to be an abundance of stories out there at the moment regarding individuals paying the price for avoiding their inheritance tax (IHT) bills. This is possibly because all eyes are on the government at the moment with the Budget 2015 having been recently announced and the general election looming.

The latest story we came across regards the daughter of a multi-millionaire entrepreneur from Sussex who has been jailed for lying about the value of her aunt's estate. According to a report from The Argus, Theresa Bunn - the third child of Douglas Bunn - has been sentenced to two years and eight months after stating to HMRC that her aunt (Diana Pares-Wilson) had left her £285,000 when the figure was in fact over £1.5 million. It is understood that Ms Bunn lived with her aunt for a number of years and was made the executor of her will.

HMRC began an investigation into her finances after officers were made privy to the fact she had been financially supporting a friend in Wales and utilising her friend's bank accounts to hide her own money.

Ms Bunn's aunt died in February 2010 and her father died one year previously. Mr Bunn was the founder of a multi-million pound holiday village business, currently being run by one of his sons. The family also owns and runs the Hickstead show jumping course. Ms Bunn, however, is stated to have no connection to the family businesses.

Stuart Taylor, the assistant director for HMRC, concluded that Ms Bunn has "the benefit of large amounts of cash [and] lied purely to avoid tax."

Do you think the sentence awarded to Ms Bunn is fair considering the level of her deceit? Do you think enough is being done to seek out those who avoid IHT?