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When is a fee a tax?

On Monday, Lucy Frazer QC MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice notified Parliament of the Government’s intention to introduce the previously publicised and – for many – somewhat controversial changes to the fees payable when applying for Grant of Probate.

An outline of the proposals as reported by the BBC can be accessed here.

While the maximum fees quoted for estates above £2m of £6,000 is well below the £20,000 initially proposed, it still represents an increase of 2690% on the current fee (£215), hence the question; when is a fee a tax?

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