Rishi Sunak’s wife avoids tax through non-dom status
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata have found themselves in the firing line of Twitter jokes, after claims his millionaire wife has declared non-domicile status in order to save on her tax bill.
While the UK are currently struggling with the cost of living crisis and are required to pay tax on all of their income, Akshata Murthy's family business is estimated to be worth around £3.5bn.
Two people familiar with her financial agreements suggested the valuable status was used even after her husband was setting taxes for the UK in 2020.
A 'non-dom' status can save people from paying UK tax on income from dividends from foreign investments, rental payments on property overseas or bank interest. This means Murthy could have potentially saved millions of pounds in foreign earnings over the years.
It also allows individuals to avoid paying UK inheritance tax. However, the decision to pay less tax through the status is optional.
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The Treasury declined to comment. A representative for Sunak did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
A spokesperson for Murthy claimed that she had to use non-dom status because of her Indian citizenship.
They told The Independent: "Akshata Murty is a citizen of India, the country of her birth and parent's home.
"India does not allow its citizens to hold the citizenship of another country simultaneously. So, according to British law, Ms Murty is treated as non-domiciled for UK tax purposes. She has always and will continue to pay UK taxes on all her UK income."
It has since been reported that Sunak and his wife legally declared to be "permanent US residents" while he was chancellor of the UK. Sky News claimed the couple held US "green cards" which permitted them residence in the states until more than a year into his role.
Murthy has since announced in a u-turn that she will now pay UK tax on her overseas income following the pressure placed on them.
Sunak, who has been a member of parliament since 2015, currently resides in the flat above No 10 Downing Street with his wife and two children.
The Treasury has not yet responded with further comment.
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