Two Irish men will marry each other in order to avoid paying an inheritance tax bill. Michael O’Sullivan and his best friend and neighbor, Matt, will tie the knot in January. Neither of them is gay.
“It’s a way to avoid tax. If he is to pay to look after me in my old age. I thought it was a very good thing that came into my head to say, nowadays, this is official,” Matt said in an interview on RTE 1 Radio.
Matt, who is 85, has been friends with O’Sullivan for 30 years. In addition to being neighbors, O’Sullivan is also Matt’s carer.
“I am marrying him because he will be part of my life when I die and whatever I have, i.e. my home, there will be no problems, he can have it,” said Matt.
The tax in question, the Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT), applies a 33 percent rate to gifts and inheritances. The tax however does not apply when the gifts are given to a spouse or civil partner. When Matt dies, his assets will be transferred to O’Sullivan tax-free.
O’Sullivan, who is divorced, has three children from previous relationships.
“I never married,” explains Matt, “he was married and has a talented daughter in London, he had another partner and another daughter and son with them. They are grown up now and he is officially divorced. With the house, this is the easiest way.”
The only potential hurdle for the plan is if O’Sullivan meets a woman. “I did ask him what would happen if he met a woman,” Matt said “but he has said it would only ever be a partner for him.”
“I love Matt, but not in a sexual way,” O’Sullivan told RTE 1. “I’ve known him so long, I’m his carer now and as Matt said to me one day, ‘it isn’t a bad idea’.”
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