In Routier and Venables v HMRC [2014] EWHC 3010 (Ch), the High Court, quite correctly I believe, denied inheritance tax relief on the (presumably UK situs) estate of a Jersey domiciled and resident individual in respect of a bequest to a bona fide Jersey charity.

The decision was based on Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Inc v Inland Revenue Commissioners [1956] AC 39, in which ‘charity’ was held to mean a charity subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in some part of the UK. Thus the law seemed clear and HMRC seems to have behaved quite correctly in its action. The deceased could have established an English charity including in its objects the Jersey charity, but did not.

However, as the effect was to enrich the UK revenue by some £600,000 intended by the deceased to go to the Jersey charity, which has now been deprived of it, may we hope to hear a howl of moral indignation from those in authority and the press, at the immorality of tax collection, despite the clear wording of the law?

Geese and ganders spring to mind.

Michael Stannard, Verbier, Switzerland