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Private Client Section

New probate controversy as MoJ dismisses 'tax' definition

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Fresh concern has been raised about the proposed overhaul of probate fees after the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) said it expects the new fee structure to be classified as a ‘tax’.

According to the OBR ’Economic and fiscal outlook’ published in March 2019, the Treasury is expecting the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to ‘classify the new structure … as a tax in the National Accounts.’ This is despite the fact ministers have previously rejected that assertion.

The document adds: ‘The new probate fee structure is expected to generate £155 million a year in additional tax receipts.’

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice reiterated its stance that the new fee structure is not a tax. ‘Any decision by the ONS to define it as such would be purely for accounting purposes. The income raised from probate fees will go towards funding a more efficient and effective courts and tribunals system.’ 

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