LONDON — Boris Johnson’s longest-serving cabinet minister and suspected lead candidate Rishi Sunak has found himself in political trouble after reports his wife failed to pay taxes on income earned abroad and that he held a US green card for almost two years after becoming chancellor was.
Chancellor Sunak was faced with a series of questions about his tax and residency regime and that of his wife Akshata Murty The Independent reported that Murty has non-domicile status. This means she pays a fee of £30,000 a year to register as a ‘non-dom’ and pays no tax on earnings outside the UK, a scheme the Guardian estimates saved her Has £20 million in taxes.
‘Non-Dom’ status has long been a contentious issue in UK public life, particularly as some of those who say they are overseas residents, such as Murty, spend most of their time in the UK and because his wife’s status has since was not disclosed for more than two years when he took office at the Treasury Department in February 2020.
Murty issued a statement on Friday night announcing she would no longer claim that status and would therefore pay UK tax on all of her income. The statement said the scheme was “completely legal,” but added: “It has become clear that many feel it is incompatible with my husband’s role as chancellor.” I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and do not want my tax status to distract my husband or affect my family.”
Sunak and Murty are the ultimate British Indian power couple. Sunak rose to high office after attending an exclusive public school, Oxford and Stanford universities and working as a hedge fund manager, while Murty is part of one of India’s wealthiest families.
She makes money from shares in her father’s software company Infosys, which is estimated to be worth £3.5 billion.
Labor leader Keir Starmer said it would be “breathtaking hypocrisy” if she cut her bill while the Chancellor hiked taxes for the British public.
sunak knocked out in press coverage of his wife, who accused journalists of “uncomfortable slander” and added: “I would hope that most fair people would understand – although I know it is a confusing situation that she is from another country. “
Sky news reported later Sunak held a US Green Card after becoming UK Treasury Secretary, which normally requires the holder to be a US permanent resident
Confirming Friday’s reports, the Chancellor’s spokeswoman said: “Rishi Sunak held a green card when he lived and worked in the United States.
She said he “followed all instructions and continued to file US tax returns, but particularly as a nonresident, in full compliance with the law.”
Sunak gave up his green card after consulting with the authorities after his first trip to the United States as chancellor, his spokeswoman said.
Johnson was questioned about Sunak’s condition when he held a press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz at Downing Street on Friday. He told reporters he was unaware of Murty’s “non-dom” status prior to this week and denied leaking the story, as suggested in some newspapers.
The chancellor is often touted as Johnson’s potential successor after gaining popularity through a package of measures aimed at helping the country through COVID.
However, he has endured the toughest weeks of his tenure after his latest mini-budget was criticized for not doing enough to help those hit by the cost of living crisis while raising taxes.
https://www.politico.eu/article/british-chancellors-wife-agrees-to-pay-uk-tax-on-all-of-her-income/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak's wife agrees to pay UK taxes on all her income - POLITICO