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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15980
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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....This is not an easy one ..... My father has

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Hello....This is not an easy one for you.....
My father has recently lost his wife of 30 years.
He has been a self employed builder since the early 60's.
His wife left a will , this left everything , including the house , to her children from a previous marriage.
The reason she did this was because my father has not paid any income tax and N.I contributions for the last 50 years.........that was 50!
He would like to contest the will and wants to know if HMRC would take any proceeds off him.
He knows he has to sort this out with the relevant authorities , but doesn't want to risk finding himself both homeless and penniless .
I have been onto him for years to sort this out. He has problems with literacy and numeracy,his late wife was paying all cheques and cash into her account as he didn't have a bank account.
as you can imagine , I am in need of some advice!
Thank you.

Can you tell me how old your father is, whether he still works and what assets he has please. Do you have any idea how much he earns in a year assuming he is still working?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My dad is 75
He still works
Earns approx 20 k
He has no asserts as everything was in his wife's name inc the house

Leave this with me while I draft my answer. It will take a while.
Hi again.

This is a difficult one.

Given your father's age, it would be difficult to envisage HMRC taking his home off him if he owned one. They'd be more inclined to put a lien on it and wait until he dies at which time they'd get their money. Having said that, I had an elderly client who HMRC bankrupted but he had assets including a home and rental property. Anything is possible, however.

There remains the problem of straightening out your father's taxes. There is no time limit on how far back HMRC can go in serious cases but, given the lack of assets, one would have to wonder whether it would be worth the effort on HMRC's part, though they are under pressure to crack down on evaders and make an example of them and your father is still working. I'd rather they cracked down on Google and Amazon myself.

It's always better for someone in your father's situation to contact HMRC before they are contacted by HMRC. I can only advise you to have a long hard think about it and consider going to see an accountant or tax adviser with tax investigation experience which I'm afraid won't be inexpensive. Clearly, your father will need help with any paperwork if he decides to come clean. If I were your father, I'd probably try to get an agreement to live in the house for the rest of my life and forget the ownership claim.

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