Copyright: Public Domain / Used With Permission

There are those times when it’s necessary to wonder what these people are smoking. Stories which simply don’t make sense in any manner. No, not that one about the bloke from Radstock, the stuffed badger and the lube, that’s normal for there. Rather, reports in proper newspapers which just don’t make logical sense:

A Lancaster bomber used to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid faces being scrapped because its owner’s family cannot afford the death duty owed against it.

There’s simply no way to make this idea pan out. If the bloke’s already dead then the tax is owed, no matter what is done to the Lancaster. Destroying it wouldn’t kill the bill that is. If he’s not dead yet then OK, taking it to pieces would reduce the value. But then so would selling it provide the cash for the tax to be paid.

No, we can’t say but no one will buy it but the tax must be paid. Something is worth what someone will pay for it. If no one will buy it then it’s not worth anything to have to pay inheritance tax upon. There just isn’t any manner in which this story makes sense:

Jeremy Hall spent 20 years painstakingly restoring the cockpit section of the aircraft that completed 50 wartime raids as a tribute to the sacrifice of Bomber Command.

As part of his estate, however, it will have to be destroyed on or before his death to avoid his children paying a tax bill of around £60,000.

The entire train of thought is just piffle. There’s no way at all that destroying it makes any sense at all. Even if the kids inherit it and have to pay the tax bill they’ll still be better off – the tax is 40% of the estate after all.

What really puzzles here is how the journalists reporting it got bamboozled. It’s obvious that this is nonsense so why wasn’t that spotted?

Yes, something valuable, if part of an estate, will leave an inheritance tax bill. But if it’s valuable then it can be sold to pay the bill. If it cannot be sold then it’s not valuable and so there is no bill. Destruction of the thing just cannot be the right solution to any part of the problem.