ZEALOUS Inland Revenue staff have fined a local man for not filling in his tax forms...even though he has been dead for more than a year.

Tax men knew Frank Gaskell was dead when they fined him £100 for not sending in his returns. His shocked ex-wife found out about the penalty when she opened a brown envelope addressed to the personal representatives of Frank Gaskell deceased during a regular check on his former home at Withins Close, Bolton.

Inside the envelope was a letter informing them of the £100 fine because the self assessment tax forms had not been filled in.

"At first I thought it was quite comical, chasing people beyond the grave for tax," said Lily Dixon who split up from Frank a long time before his death.

"But it would have been different if my son had seen the letter. He is physically handicapped and is only gradually getting over his father's death.

"He has got enough problems without this type of thing." Lily, aged 64, has been looking after the house since Mr Gaskell, 66, died suddenly in October 1996 without leaving a will.

Mrs Dixon believes she may have thrown away the original self assessment forms for the year ending April 1997 about six weeks earlier when she binned a number of brown envelopes.

"There was one from the Inland Revenue addressed to Frank Gaskell. I threw it away because I thought they would realise the mistake and not bother again," she said.

Inland Revenue officials said they would investigate but had not replied when the BEN went to press.

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