Margaret Thatcher's papers given to the nation - for £1m off family's inheritance tax bill

The papers will be kept in an archive at Churchill College, Cambridge, where they are currently on loan

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The Independent Online

Handwritten accounts by Margaret Thatcher about her time in Downing Street have been given to the nation in a move that will cut about £1m from the inheritance tax bill of nearly £1.9m on her estate, according to a report.

Her children, Sir Mark Thatcher and Carol Thatcher, are among those who will benefit from the deal, The Daily Telegraph said.

Sources told the newspaper that the family had been offered more than £1m for the documents by a US university, but had turned this down to enable them to remain in the UK.

One insider said: “It’s wonderful that these papers have been saved for the nation rather than going to America, which was the alternative.

“The scheme has allowed Lady Thatcher’s heirs to reduce their tax bill, but in truth it was a highly altruistic decision by them because they could have got more for the papers in the US.”

The deal was made under the Arts Council England’s “Acceptance In Lieu” (AIL) scheme.

The papers will be kept in an archive at Churchill College, Cambridge, where they are currently on loan. They will be published online on Thursday.

John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary and Baroness Thatcher’s last political secretary, was due to make a formal announcement on Thursday.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport stressed he was not involved in the decision about who received tax credits under the AIL scheme.

After her death in 2013, it was revealed that Baroness Thatcher’s £12m home in Belgravia, London, was owned by a company based in the British Virgin Islands.

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