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Supreme Court rules Jersey woman’s fortune will not be taxed

The Supreme Court in London has ruled that Beryl Coulter’s fortune is not liable to inheritance tax. Credit: Peter Routier

A 12 year battle to fulfill the wishes of Jersey woman who wanted to leave her fortune for homes for the elderly in St Ouen has finally come to an end.

The Supreme Court in London has ruled that Beryl Coulter’s fortune is not liable to inheritance tax.

Mrs Coulter died in 2007 and wanted her savings to be spent on building homes for elderly residents in St Ouen.

She left behind £4 million for the Parish, of which £1.8 million was in the UK.

In the United Kingdom charitable donations are exempt from inheritance tax, but as part of Mrs Coulter’s donation was to Jersey, which is not in the UK, the HMRC argued it was liable to be taxed £600,000.

Mrs Coulter’s executors disputed the £600,000 tax, arguing that the gift should be exempt as it is a charitable donation.

This led to a 12 year battle that eventually came to an end this morning as the Supreme Court decided to grant Mrs Coulter’s final wishes. In doing so, St Ouen’s Parish will receive the full £4 million.

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