Two straight Irish men married to avoid having to pay inheritance tax on a property.
Best friends Matt Murphy and Michael O’Sullivan are both heterosexual. O’Sullivan, 58, is also the carer of Murphy, 83.
In lieu of paying O’Sullivan for his time in caring for his friend, they agreed Murphy would leave him his house after he passed away.
But after finding out how they would have to pay €50,000 (£44,300 $59,300) worth of inheritance tax if Murphy just left it in the will, they decided to marry to bypass the fee.
— Emma McMenamy (@emmamcm) 22 December 2017
The pair have been good friends for the last 30 years and Murphy took O’Sullivan in when he became homeless.
‘He’s my best friend’
After doctors diagnosed Murphy with giant cell arteritis – a condition that affects eyesight – O’Sullivan moved in full time as a carer.
Murphy said about O’Sullivan: ‘He’s always so concerned about me. He’s my best friend.’
O’Sullivan told the Irish Mirror: ‘Eventually, Matt said the only way he could pay me was to leave me the house.
‘I told him that it was a great idea but that I would have to sell the house as I would have to pay inheritance tax, massive tax,’ he said.
Then he was chatting to a friend at a local pub in Cashel, County Tipperary, and she jokingly said they should get married.
So O’Sullivan popped the question one night.
Big savers and little savers 85yrs old Matt Murphy and his new husband Michael O’Sullivan pose for photos across from the Treasury building after their marriage of (tax) convenience. Photos with windows in them. pic.twitter.com/KaiPUwhFUR
— Barry Cronin (@Sidelighter) 23 December 2017
The couple married at the Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital Registry Office in Dublin.
They walked down the aisle to a harpist serenading the couple and 11 witnesses watched on.
O’Sullivan said he checked with the police, revenue commissioners and a former attorney general who confirmed everything was legal.