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Richard, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 55132
Experience:  29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
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A friend of mine has inherited over 200,000GBP, presently located

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A friend of mine has inherited over 200,000GBP, presently located in an account at Barclays Bank. He has been told by the bank that they cannot release the funds to him until a considerable tax has been paid to the IRS. He needs to pay the tax out of the 200,000 but the bank won't let him obtain them. Is this correct? It makes no sense.
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This is not correct. If there were any tax to be paid, it could simply be deducted from the $200,000 supposedly being held by the bank. The fact that they want to cash up front simply means there is no cash in the bank and your friend is being scammed. This is a common scheme to defraud people....the indication of a big inheritance that can only be released upon the payment of upfront money. The IRS simply does not operate in this fashion. If there are ever any funds due the IRS, they can always be withheld from the amount due the recipient.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could say this was legitimate, but, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I have a copy of a Barclays statement showing 247,000GBP on deposit and I have a copy of an IRS receipt showing 4300GBP has been paid (9/27/13) on the 8500GBP owed on the 47,000GBP interest. All looks legitimate. Would someone go to such trouble to forge these documents for 4200GBP, balance owed?

Thanks for following up. I'm presuming your friend is in the U.S. I have been dealing with this same situation with two of my clients here in the U.S. in the past few weeks. Both are fraudulent. If the money is in the bank, then simply direct the bank to forward whatever is due the IRS to the IRS from the funds being held. Also, to confirm, call the IRS and Barclays directly, and ask them for independent verification. Do not use numbers provided by these folks; rather, get the numbers independently. In both instances in which I'm involved with client, the money was not at the bank and the IRS had received nothing.
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Thank you so much for the positive rating! I truly appreciate you taking the time to do that!