Simon English: It's odds-on that this tax dodge bet can't be legal

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The Independent Online

Outlook I admit it was a long night and that the nuances may have escaped me, but here's what I recall: the stockbroker/entrepreneur type has had a brilliant idea and it's already up and running. He's coining it, he reckons.

He's set himself up as an internet bookmaker with a plot to avoid inheritance tax, but he only deals with a small, select crowd of very rich folk that he gets to know and trusts.

The way it works is this: the rich, elderly father concerned that the money he leaves to his family shall be eroded by what he insists on calling the "death tax" instead places a bet.

That bet is one he is sure to lose and the person on the other side of it is... his son. So the son gets to keep the family fortune, tax-free, and my middle-man friend gets a nice fee for his trouble.

It doesn't sound like this can really be legal, so I must have mis-heard it...