Electronic income

Sunak’s wife will pay UK tax on overseas income

LONDON: Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty has said she will pay UK tax on her overseas earnings, following a dispute over her non-domicile status.

She owns £700m of shares in Indian IT giant Infosys, founded by her father, from which she received £11.6m in dividends last year.

As a non-domiciled (non-dom) UK resident, she is not required by law to pay UK tax on her overseas income.

But she told the BBC she didn’t want to be a “distraction” for her husband.

Her decision to change her tax arrangements follows accusations of hypocrisy against the chancellor, with opposition parties saying Sunak’s family benefits at a time when the cost of living is rising.

The BBC estimates Murty would have avoided £2.1m a year in UK tax thanks to his non-dom status.

Murty said his tax arrangements had been ‘entirely legal’ but added: ‘It has become clear that many do not think this is compatible with my husband’s role as Chancellor.

“I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and do not wish my tax status to be a distraction to my husband or affect my family.”

A non-dom is someone who lives in the UK but declares that their permanent home is in another country.

Sunak accused political opponents of “smearing” his wife to get at her.

He also said she was entitled to use the non-dom arrangement as she is an Indian citizen and plans to return to her home country in the future to care for her parents.

Murty will retain his Indian citizenship and non-dom status, allowing his family to avoid paying UK inheritance tax – which the current assessment could be as high as £280million sterling.

On Thursday it emerged she was paying £30,000 a year to maintain her non-dom status.

In her statement, Murty also said she would now pay UK tax “on all my worldwide income, including dividends and capital gains, wherever that income is earned in the world”.

“I’m doing this because I want to, not because the rules require me to. These new arrangements will start immediately and will also be applied to the fiscal year just ended (2021-22),” he said. -she adds.