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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

my eccentric aunt, her gambling problem and £1m

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:13 pm

my eccentric aunt, her gambling problem and £1m

Postby Crawley205 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:47 pm

I am the only living relative of my elderly eccentric aunt.

Her will leaves everything to me.

Her estate is worth £1 million held in her bank account and accumulated from a life of sports gambling on betfair.

She has decided to end her life on 1 September.

It is her last wish that either I receive nothing or inherit a sum of money which would mean that neither I nor anyone in my family need ever work again.

She has therefore decided to place one final bet on a sports event with a very liquid market with two possible outcomes.

Given the mismatch between the two teams the odd on team A winning are 1-10 and B are 10-1.

(It's listed on betfair so its a fair market (only a small commission need be paid by the winner).

She decides to back the long shot at 10-1 with her entire £1 million meaning its highly unlikely that she will win.

Fearing that my inheritance will be lost completely I decide to borrow £10 million from a Premier League footballer and bet the entire amount on the 1-10 favourite.

Some time later my aunt will have died in all likelihood having lost the bet and living me nothing.

However I will have won £1 million from my bet (minus a small commission to betfair) and will not have to pay the inheritance tax that would have been due on my aunt's death.

(In the unlikely event that my aunt wins the bet, convinced that she is on a winning streak decides to repeat the experiment at an even longer odds ...)

My aunt's final months and her betting are the feature of a TV fly on the wall documentary which is watched by members of the IHT avoidance team at HMRC.

Are they likely to take a professional interest?

Posts: 3344
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: my eccentric aunt, her gambling problem and £1m

Postby bd6759 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:31 pm

Why not just borrow the £10million to get your £1million profit and stop worrying about your aunt's demise. You won't need to rely on her, and anything you do get when the time comes will be a nice surprise.

Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:33 pm

Re: my eccentric aunt, her gambling problem and £1m

Postby AnthonyR » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:23 pm

Assuming your Aunt places the bet on 31 August, dies on 1 September and then the game takes place on the 2nd your aunt has a contract with the bookies which has a value in itself. On the basis that she placed a commercial bet at commercial rates then the value of the contract will likely be £1m at the date of death regardless of the eventual outcome.

As such no IHT is saved by your Aunt at this point.

The question is then the tax position on her estate if she wins versus if she loses... In theory the estate is not taxable on it's winnings, but would get no relief if it lost and the IHT bill would still be due.
Anthony Rogers LLB CTA TEP
Fusion Partners LLP

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