My girlfriend wants to transfer her inheritance of 1,000,000.00 from her bank in the United Kingdom to my account in the United States. Her bank says I need to send $9,600.00 to them; they said that they could have taken the money out of the account, but cannot until they get the tax code. Then they will take the money to their lawyer to get the tax code. Do I need to send the bank the $9,600 or can the bank take it out of the account?

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    Which bank is this? This sounds at best garbled and at worse like some kind of scam. ALL reputable banks will, if you have an account and they are charging fees, take the money from the account rather than asking you to send them money.
    – pjc50
    Jan 27 '12 at 13:24
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    Does the girlfriend actually exist, and is the bank that's asking for the money a real bank? This looks like a variant on the Russian bride scam. Lots of expenses, and no bride.
    – Simon B
    Mar 4 '16 at 23:58

That wasn't an "inheritance" that arrived out of the blue and the "bank" contacted your girlfriend by email, was it?

A UK tax code is basically an assessment of how much money you can earn in the UK before you have to pay tax on it - basically it's a coding for a tax allowance and as a UK tax payer HMRC (the UK version of the IRS) gives you one for free. If your girlfriend is not a UK tax payer she should get the necessary paperwork to show that she isn't, although I'm not sure if that's got any bearing on inheritance tax. There are no lawyers involved in that process normally, any appropriately accredited accountant can do that for you in the UK if you're not in the UK. When I had to apply for a change of tax status in the UK it certainly didn't cost me $9.6k to do so via my accountant there. In fact the whole thing cost a few pounds to pay for my accountant's time and that was it.

In fact, that whole thing smells fishy to me as someone who used to live in the UK. Care to divulge the name and possibly address of the bank?

Here's inheritance tax information straight from the horse's mouth. That should clear up any questions if your girlfriend is even liable for any inheritance tax in the UK in the first place. And then, given the sums involved, get the recommendation for a good lawyer and a good accountant in the UK (or an accountant who can recommend a lawyer) to make sure that that end of the transfer goes smoothly.


I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say, but in general its pretty simple: She goes to the UK bank and requests a wire transfer, providing your details as a recipient. You then go to your bank, fill the necessary forms for the money-laundaring regulations, you probably also need to pay the taxes on the money to the IRS, and then you have it.

If you have 1 million dollars (or is it pounds?), I'm sure you can afford spending several hundreds for a tax attorney to make sure your liabilities are reduced to minimum.

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