Akshata Murthy, wife of British Indian minister Rishi Sunak, to pay UK taxes after controversy

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Akshata Murthy to pay UK taxes after controversy

Highlight

  • Akshata Murthy has said she will pay UK taxes on her foreign income
  • She owns £700 million in shares of Indian IT giant Infosys
  • She is the daughter of Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys

According to a BBC report, British Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy has said that she will pay UK taxes on her foreign income. She owns £700 million in shares of the Indian IT giant Infosys, founded by her father, from which she received £11.6 million in dividend income last year. As a non-resident (Non-DOM) UK resident he is not required by law to pay UK taxes on his foreign income. But she told the BBC she didn’t want to be a “distractor” to her husband.

His decision to change his tax regime follows allegations of hypocrisy against the Chancellor, with opposition parties saying the Sunak’s family is benefiting at a time when the cost of living is rising. The BBC estimates that the statue would have avoided £2.1 million a year in UK taxes through its non-dome status. Murthy said his tax regime was “perfectly legal”, but added: “It has become clear that many do not feel that it suits my husband’s role of Chancellor.” I have a British sense of fairness. I understand and appreciate that and I don’t want my tax situation to be a distraction to my husband or to affect my family.”

Sunak has accused political opponents of “smearing” his wife to get her to. She has also stated that she is entitled to use the non-DOM arrangement as she is an Indian citizen and plans to return to her home country to take care of her parents in the future. The BBC reported that Murthy will retain his Indian citizenship and his non-Dom status which allows his family to avoid paying inheritance tax in the UK – which at the current assessment could amount to £280 million.

On Thursday, it emerged that she pays £30,000 a year to maintain her non-dom status. In her statement, Murthy also said that she will now “pay UK tax on all my worldwide income, including dividends and capital gains, wherever income is generated anywhere in the world”. “I do this because I want to, not because the rules require me to do so. These new regimes will begin immediately and apply to the just-concluded tax year (2021-22),” she said.

Opposition Labor deputy leader Angela Rainer said questions remained over Murthy’s tax regime, at a time when people were feeling a “pinch” of the cost of living crisis. “Once again, senior government ministers are starting to fool the public,” she told the BBC. Liberal Democrat Treasury spokeswoman Christine Jardine called on the Sunak family to withhold taxes in full, saying: “Doing something just because you find out it’s not good enough”.

Read also | UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson likely to visit India this month

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