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Tony Tax
Tony Tax, Tax Consultant
Category: UK Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15901
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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Hello. I am in the US. A friend of mine has asked me to help

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Hello. I am in the US. A friend of mine has asked me to help her pay the tax due on a sum of money in a Barclays Bank account, deposited some years ago by her now-deceased father. She believes she has to pay tax on the interest before she can obtain control of the funds herself and that the bank will not release the funds to her until this payment is made. This does not seem right to me. I would think she could use part of the funds to pay the tax after she controls the money.

Does the Inland Revenue have such a requirement?


Jo C is correct. It is a scam. No fees or "taxes" of the sort mentioned in the other question are due before access to the funds is allowed.

I hope this helps but let me know if have any further questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So the truth is that anyone who inherits money held in a bank account can simply go to the bank and claim the money and then pay the tax due later? Neither the Inland Revenue nor the bank will not prevent her from doing this?



There is a process.

When somebody dies in the UK, there is usually an executor who could be a spouse, a lawyer, a son, a daughter, a friend even. The executor gathers all the assets of the deceased and pays any debts which may include taxes. Following that, the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate.

If the account is the name of your friend, she should be able to access the money with proof of identification. Tax at 20% would have been deducted from the interest by the bank. If your friend is a UK basic rate taxpayer, there would be no further tax to pay.

To get a letter out of the blue as your friend appears to have done should raise suspicions. It's a classic scam. There are no release fees or "taxes".
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. My friend is a former foster child. She says her foster mother has known about this account, deposited in Barclays in 1993, for some years. My friend is planning on leaving the country so her foster mother revealed its existence to her, probably hoping to get some of the money herself, which she has not been able to do prior to this. Her father died alone in Sweden a few years ago and the deposited funds were not part of his formal estate because no one there knew of them, or so I am told.


I suppose it's all a scam but I am disappointed that my friend would do this sort of thing to me. Apparently I should be more careful in choosing my friends.



It's a plausible story and it may be true but the tax in advance of access request is a scam and your friend may be a victim also. She may believe there is a sum of money.

I've heard of cases where there is a real sum of money, a fraudster has become aware by some illicit means and used the information to try to get "taxes" from the beneficiary under false pretences.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm afraid my friend is part of the scam. She sent me a receipt for 4300GBP dated 27-09-2013 on an official-looking UK Revenue Services Revenue Collectors Receipt, all stamped and signed. She also sent me a very official-seeming Barclays Bank Certificate of Deposit showing a large sum deposited in 1993, ostensibly by her now-dead father. She says that when she went to the bank to claim the money, she was told a tax of 8500GBP would have to be paid before she could claim it. If there is no such tax due prior to her claiming the funds, she is obviously lying to me.


I find this whole thing to be very sad. Thanks for your help.

I'm sorry you have been let down badly.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One more thing, please. My friend says that the tax must be paid in person rather than by bank transfer or check, etc., which means I would have to send her the money so she could pay it in person herself. More scam? Does such a tax have to be paid in person?

I'm afraid everything you have been told is complete rubbish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I agree.

Good luck.

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