Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tenants “are seeking legal advice with a view to forming an action group”

Barratt heirs serve notice on tenants: Cottages to be sold to pay inheritance tax bill

He was Britain's most prolific house-builder, whose mock-Tudor homes became a symbol of the aspirational middle classes. But the sons of Sir Lawrie Barratt, who died in December last year, have asked tenants on their 4,350-acre Yorkshire estate to leave their homes. They have written to residents asking them to vacate their cottages, as they need to sell them to pay inheritance tax.

Posted by dill @ 12:46 PM (2182 views)
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19 thoughts on “Tenants “are seeking legal advice with a view to forming an action group”

  • mark wadsworth says:

    If there is going to be a forced sale of a large number of homes, why don’t the tenants just buy them?

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  • MW – The tenants are given that option – “Some are being told that their property is available to buy prior to it being advertised on the open market.” so a good reporter would follow up and ask the tenants your question and discuss rents, asking prices, ability to get mortgages etc. Also no discussion of whether owners could also do a deal with the taxman to pay over a period from the flow of rents – “the Inland Revenue has a facility that allows inheritance tax on property to be paid over a 10-year period” – though that period would probably need to be extended.

    “The Thatchers even bought a Barratt home in Dulwich when she was in office, though they never moved in, choosing to live in Belgravia…” Like Gummer’s daughter, who never did eat that mad-cow burger.

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  • nice plot of land for a housing estate

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  • The abolition of inheritance, one of the key planks of the Communist Manifesto. And this tax, which brings very little to the exchequer only manages to liquidate profitable positions at a net loss to the economy, as illustrated perfectly here.

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  • Yes, Libby. What’s the point of becoming fabulously wealthy if you can’t even guarantee your progeny a life of idleness?

    Surely even ardent anti-communists such as yourself can see that inheritance dulls the commercial incentive in a way not dissimilar to equal pay?

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  • Icarus @2,
    Wasn’t it Chomsky who said that to keep the peasants under control it’s necessary to allow discussion on minor items, but to strictly control it through the media.

    I don’t see much debate about prices going up faster than wages and the CPI rate not being a reflection of what’s in the supermarket basket.

    The media are managed from above – they have their strings pulled all the time. But it could be worse, in Oz, Murdoch owns 60% of the press! The West is becoming a Stasi empire of Banksters and their 1% friends. I hope the Site Moderators will allow posting from “less reputable” sources in future, not just mainstream press.

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  • Sir Lawrie Barratt was either feeling very charitable or had rubbish accountants. IHT is entirely optional if it is cost effective to pay an army of lawyers and accountants to make it go away. Get rid of inheritance tax and replace with guess what.

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  • “In some instances, property can even be handed over in lieu of inheritance tax, though this applies only to buildings of outstanding historic or architectural interest”
    If any of the tenants are on housing benefit, this is a bad missed opportunity. The premises could be handed over to the local council, thereby wiping out the ever increasing liability of paying over the odds to house the poor in private rentals

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Mombers, I never saw the point of Inheritance Tax, it raises less than the TV licence fee, does cause incredible expense and inconvenience for an unlucky few and merely generates ten times as much as it raises in income for lawyers and accountants.

    Oh, I see…

    And as you rightly point out, LVT would hit the spot, it could raise a hundred times as much as Inheritance Tax and actually be a force for good and generate naff all work for lawyers and accountants.

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  • MW
    If only !
    as well as the only certainties being death and taxes, with taxes comes the certainty of financial advisers lawyers and accountants. In my experience the very mention of a new area of taxation spawns a myriad of avoidance measures available to those that can afford them.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Iguana, nope.

    Collection rates for Business Rates (the closest thing we have to LVT) are 98% and compliance costs are minimal, you just grit your teeth and pay up. The only loopholes are ones which have been introduced deliberately and which make no sense – they are not an inherent and necessary complication.

    And of course, non-resident and income-tax-exempt owners cannot and do not avoid Business Rates either.

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  • MW
    Suggest you look at a recent High Court decision: CO/8845/2011. Makro v Nuneaton and Bedworth BC.

    The case put by Makro was to say the least ‘imaginative’ as with all avoidance schemes, nonetheless they got away with it.
    Coincidentally, they seem to have avoided 98% of their liability.

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  • MW
    Suggest you look at a recent High Court decision: CO/8845/2011. Makro v Nuneaton and Bedworth BC.

    The case put by Makro was to say the least ‘imaginative’ as with all avoidance schemes, nonetheless they got away with it.
    Coincidentally, they seem to have avoided 98% of their liability.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Khards, I work in tax, I know all this stuff.

    That case appears to hinge on somebody abusing the loophole for “vacant premises”

    Now, it is part and parcel of LVT that the tax is on the rental value of the site whether it is being used or not, derelict, vacant, fully occupied, the tax is always the same, and it is perfectly possible to have Business Rates without empty property discounts.

    I mean, the exemption is clearly madness, if you take out a bank loan to buy a factory, does the bank waive the interest if the factory is standing empty? Of course not.

    So your argument is like saying “income tax is a bad idea because there are so many loopholes that some people earn lots of money but don’t pay any”

    That is not an argument against income tax as such, it is an argument against loopholes.

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  • I am for loopholes. Our economy is surviving because of them. Without the loopholes things would grind to a halt. The less tax the better when it is this bloody high. The stuff I see councils spending cash on would astound you.

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  • And then look at all the wars. Trillions of pounds have been spent bombing the middle east, for over a decade. That is why we have tuition fees, it is why taxes haven’t been cut, it is why we are still in a bloody depression, yet Mark Wadsworth wants a new Land tax. Maybe he aims to buy enough arms to expand the North African wars into Spain to liberate Gibraltar? Because we know what government do with money when given it. They squander it. They are like a norty child given too much pocket money, consuming too many sweets.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Piddly you really are an idiot.

    If you’d like to read up on the YPP manifesto, you would quickly learn that we are against high taxes on income, against foreign wars and would cut tuition fees and write off half of outstanding student loans.

    Glad to have cleared that up!

    I trust that in future you will not make such stupid assumptions about what we think before you’ve actually checked. By all means criticize what we say, but it would be helpful if you actually referred to stuff we’ve said and not what goes on in your chemtrail addled mind.

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  • Mark
    I think you mean me not our Eire correspondent.
    My point is simply that all taxes spawn avoidance measures for those who can afford them, LVT if it arises will also generate avoidance measures, no doubt some of them will work.
    Regarding the case quoted, this is not a loophole. In common with all of the avoidance measures I have encountered it is reliant upon the tax advisers version of reality which the Borough Council was unable to refute to the satisfaction of the Court on the day of the hearing.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Iguana, apol’s for name mix up.

    The “empty property” thing is in itself a loophole. It is a stupid exemption. Far better to slap them with full tax. If you start introducing silly rules like that then you’ve got to introduce more silly rules to explain what is and what is not vacant, and then there are always grey areas etc see also “Charity discounts” “Small business relief” and so on, it is all nonsense.

    But this loophole is not an inherent part of the design of Business Rates, it is bolted on afterwards for some stupid reason, like all the silly reliefs in income tax or corporation tax for this that and the other rent seeking nonsense. It is perfectly possible to have an income tax system without silly exemptions.

    Clearly, LVT would ideally be a nice simple tax, same rate and basic principle applied to all rental values, no exceptions, no loopholes. The fact that you could invent all manner of exemptions, discounts, “reliefs” and so on is not an argument against LVT, it is an argument against exemptions, discounts, “reliefs” and so on.

    It would be like saying to a paper manufacturer that they must charge different prices depending on whether the customer was doing something wholesome like school books or whether he is printing pornography. That clearly leads to an inefficient allocation of paper, a glut of school books (or higher profits for the publishers thereof) and a shortage of pornography.

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