Home Lifestyle Anne Robinson is doing exactly what I would do with £50million

Anne Robinson is doing exactly what I would do with £50million

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Anne Robinson actually played it smart (Credits: Can Nguyen/REX/Shutterstock)

‘I’ve given it all away. I don’t want the taxman to have it.’ 

That’s what Anne Robinson said she had done with her rumoured £50 million fortune. 

And while some people have expressed annoyance at the former Weakest Link host for this, I for one think she’s absolutely right to have done it.

Inheritance tax is charged at 40% on a person’s estate over the value of £325,000. There are some exemptions to this of course, for example when passing on property, but on the whole it’s not a policy that is particularly popular with the electorate. 

A recent YouGov poll revealed that only one-fifth of people described inheritance tax as ‘fair’. I can’t say I blame anyone for this reaction. 

Why should there be a tax on money and assets that we’ve already paid tax on? It is our hard earned money and we should be able to do with it as we please, regardless of whether that is giving it to family and friends or charity. 

Abolishing inheritance tax, or even reforming it a little, might therefore be the answer, but until then, what Anne has chosen to do is neither new nor illegal. 

Lots of savvy people opt to reduce the amount they would have to pay by giving away some of their fortune while they are still alive. And let’s be honest, if we were in her position, we’d all do the same thing.

I don’t think there is anything despicable about what she has done (Picture: Shuttershock)

If I was blessed with millions of pounds, the last thing I would want for my grieving family is for them to have to go through the rigmarole of sorting out tax on money I’ve left them as they plan my funeral and notify others of my passing. 

That’s why I don’t think there is anything despicable about what she has done, in fact, I actually think it’s the correct course of action to take. 

However, the real problem that this admission highlights is the fact that, unlike us ‘regular’ folks, the super-rich will almost always have the finest accounting minds on hand to find legal loopholes in the law.

We have seen it happen time and time again with big name celebrities, like Lewis Hamilton, taking up residence in havens such as Monaco to reduce their tax commitments in the UK.

Again, I must stress, I’m not angry about these wealthy folk finding legal ways to reduce the amount of tax they pay. Like Donald Trump once said, not paying tax ‘makes me smart’.

But there is an element of all of this that I find unfair. And it certainly seems and feels like the only people who really do pay all their taxes are the middle and working class.

Research from the London School of Economics shows that, in the UK it is the top 1% who pay 30% of all income tax revenues. But there is a lot of variation in the taxes paid by the rich. 

‘Most of the revenue from the top 1% comes from a cohort of high-earning employees, who pay the often-quoted top rate of 45% income tax plus 2% national insurance contributions, with minimal deductions or reliefs.’ Says the report.

‘But a substantial minority pay much lower rates, especially taking into account capital gains, which offer an alternative way of taking rewards, mainly for the richest.’ 

In layman’s terms, the rich are not all paying their fair share of tax because of the many different ways in which they can pay themselves. 

There is even evidence to suggest that, in some cases, some million-pound earning employees are paying the same rate of tax as those earning as little as £15,000 a year. 

That is clearly not fair, but whose fault is it? 

I would say the blame lies firmly at the feet of our government. Not just the incumbent Tories, but the Labour one before them too who also failed to properly get a grip of our dilapidated system. 

If you ask me, the British tax operation is overly complicated, outdated and in dire need of reform. 

And while abolishing inheritance tax altogether is not my preferred solution, I would very much like to see some change. 

Very few people in this country will ever have to pay inheritance tax, it affects only the richest in our society. But we need the most wealthy people in this country to pay their fair share without the option to use legal loopholes that reduce their tax contributions. 

Until then, those of us, like Anne Robinson, who wilfully find legal ways to reduce their contribution should never be scolded – we’re simply operating within the rules of a poorly designed system. 

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