Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Inheritance tax worry for family

Pontesford House
A family faces a big tax bill because they cannot sell the family home

Three brothers from Shropshire face a 14,000 inheritance tax bill because the housing slumps means they cannot sell their mother's property.

Kathleen Hayward left her five-bedroom home in Pontesford to her sons but the slump in housing sales means they are struggling to find a buyer.

HM Revenue & Customs said 10% of the bill was due within six months but the rest could be paid in instalments.

One son, John Hayward, said they now faced the threat of court action.

He said: "We've only got the property, nothing else. We are not a rich family.

"I can understand having to pay some tax but I don't think we should be having to pay before the property is sold."

Mr Hayward said he was struggling to find the first 10% and was now being charged interest on his bill.

The family has reduced the price of the property by more than 150,000 but it still will not shift.

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