English former mechanic leaves Sinn Féin £1.5m in will
Sinn Fein will not have to pay inheritance tax on €1.7m left to party in mechanic's will
Sinn Féin given £1.5m in 'largest ever NI donation'
SINN Fein will not have to pay any inheritance tax on a £1.5m (€1.7m) gift from an English mechanic who bequeathed the money in his will.
The donation, revealed this week, is believed to the biggest ever made to a political party in Northern Ireland.
Under HM Revenue & Customs rules, any UK political party which has at least two MPs in the House of Commons is not liable to pay inheritance tax on such a gift.
Sinn Fein has seven MPs but because of a Westminster abstentionist policy they do not take their seats in the house.
A political party also qualifies for exemption if it has one MP and received no less than 150,000 votes at the last general election.
Without exemptions, anyone who is left £1.5m would be required to pay around £470,000 in inheritance tax.
The party’s windfall was made public on Thursday by the Electoral Commission.
The benefactor has been identified by a source close to Sinn Fein as former mechanic William E Hampton.
Mr Hampton was born in London and died on January 11, 2018 at his home in Pembrokeshire, Wales, at the age of 82, the source told Press Association (PA).
The pensioner, who was not married and had no children, also left some money to friends and acquaintances, but the main beneficiary was Sinn Fein.
It is understood he spent some time living in Ireland and was a long-term supporter of the party.
The money was paid to Sinn Fein in instalments of £1m and £500,000 in April and May this year....
A Sinn Fein spokesperson said: “We’re obviously pleased that he has chosen to bequest this sum to the party and it’s a positive boost to Sinn Féin in working towards Irish unity and towards our political objectives...