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DEATH-TAX DODGE FOR TORIES.

Byline: VINCENT MOSS

DAVID Cameron's fundraisers are advising donors how to avoid huge tax bills while swelling party coffers.

Details of the tactic are revealed days after the PM slammed comedian Jimmy Carr as "morally wrong" for paying just one per cent tax on pounds 3.3million he invested in an offshore fund.

The revelation outraged Opposition MPs last night and will further fuel public anger about the methods used by the wealthy to avoid tax.

Tory bosses are telling donors how to dodge death duties by leaving cash to the Conservative Foundation, a fundraising group launched by Lady Thatcher and Sir John Major.

The Foundation gives advice on legal ways of avoiding huge bills for inheritance tax by leaving cash to the Tories. The operation has helped raise millions for the Tories since 2009.

Its directors include the PM's close friend Lord Feldman and other grandees like Lord Saatchi and Lord Fink.

Its accounts show the foundation received income of pounds 497,307 in 2010 - much of the cash coming from the estates of dead supporters.

BURDEN The threshold for inheritance tax is pounds 325,000. Death duties of 40 per cent must be paid on anything above that. But the Foundation says a donation to its endowment fund will benefit the party and "could also reduce the inheritance burden on your estate".

It says: "A legacy left to the Foundation can be subtracted from the value of your estate before inheritance tax is calculated - bringing the total value of your estate closer to the threshold so that any tax due can be reduced or even removed completely."

It gives an example on its website of how much cash could be saved on an estate of pounds 400,000 which would attract inheritance tax of pounds 30,000 - 40 per cent of the pounds 75,000 over the pounds 325,000 limit. It says: "If you were to leave a legacy of pounds 40,000, your estate would only be pounds 35,000 over. So the inheritance tax bill would be pounds 14,000."

The tactic has infuriated Labour MPs. A senior Labour source said: "The Tories are aggressively exploiting this way of avoiding inheritance tax to boost their coffers. It's typical of the hypocrisy we expect from a party that cuts taxes for millionaires at the expense of pensioners and ordinary families."

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 1, 2012
Words:401
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