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£500k inheritance tax fraudster jailed

Press release -

£500k inheritance tax fraudster jailed

A woman has been jailed for two years and eight months after she lied to avoid paying more than £500,000 inheritance tax due on her wealthy aunt’s estate.

Following the death of her aunt in 2010, Theresa Bunn, 56, told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that the estate was worth around £285,000, which is below the threshold for paying inheritance tax. However, an HMRC investigation later revealed the estate was worth more than £1.5 million.

Stuart Taylor, Assistant Director, HMRC, said:

“Theresa Bunn had the benefit of large amounts of cash and lied purely to avoid paying tax. The vast majority of us pay what is due, when it is due, but HMRC will not tolerate tax fraud and will investigate those we suspect of operating outside the law.”

Bunn’s finances became the subject of an HMRC investigation after officers discovered she had been financially supporting a friend and using her friend’s bank accounts to hide money and evidence of her spending from her family.

Bunn confessed that, not only had she failed to declare substantial cash gifts from her aunt while she was alive, but she had also lied about the true value of the estate she had inherited to avoid paying tax. She admitted that the estate was actually worth around £1.5 million, which meant she had avoided an inheritance tax bill of around £500,000.

Bunn was charged with cheating the Public Revenue contrary to Common Law on 3 April 2014 and admitted the offence on 9 March 2015. She was sentenced today 10 March 2015 at Chichester Crown Court.

Notes for editors

  1. Theresa Bunn, DOB 24.09.1958, currently residing in Kilgarvan, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland, formerly of Hassocks, Sussex was sentenced two years and eight months at Chichester Crown Court on 10 March 2015 for cheating the Public Revenue contrary to Common Law.
  2. Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
  3. HMRC's Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrc.gov.uk
  4. Anyone with information about people or businesses involved in tax fraud can contact our tax evasion hotline on 0800 788 887.

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Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.

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