Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024

Akshata Murty: Chancellor's wife could save £280m in UK tax

Akshata Murty: Chancellor's wife could save £280m in UK tax

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's wife could save herself £280m in UK tax thanks to a loophole created by a treaty between the UK and India dating from the 1950s.

Akshata Murty has "non-dom" status, meaning she does not have to pay UK tax on income earned abroad.

Non-dom status "wears off" after 15 years and the person is subject to all tax requirements of a UK citizen - including on their estate.

But there is an exception for Indian citizens around inheritance tax.

A technicality means that even if Ms Murty agrees to pay UK taxes on her worldwide income, but retains her non-dom status, she can still benefit from a provision in a 1956 treaty that was designed to stop Indian citizens being double-taxed on their estates in the UK and India.

Ms Murty earns money from shares in an Indian software giant founded by her billionaire father.

India abolished inheritance tax in the 1980s, but this tax exemption was never revoked.

So Ms Murty could have her estate taxed there at zero upon her death, rather than in the UK at 40% - saving £280m on her £700m stake in the company founded by her father.

Like her current reduced tax rate on her worldwide income - this would be perfectly legal, and HMT Treasury has said that the chancellor provided all relevant information on his interests when he became a minister.

Nevertheless, the very significant sums Ms Murty could have saved up to now - and may save in the future - pose some awkward questions for Rishi Sunak.

As Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has ultimate oversight of all fiscal matters in the UK. That includes regular reviews of the non-dom rules.

Reviewing rules which directly affect the financial arrangements of his own family members seems uncomfortable at best, a direct conflict of interest at worst. Others, including the chancellor's political opponents, have suggested that Mr Sunak should move his power over non-dom policy to another department.

On reported dividends of £11.5m from £700m worth of shares, Ms Murty would have paid tax at 39.5% as a UK citizen, which works out as £4.5m.

As an Indian citizen, the Indian government would tax dividends at 20% (a withholding tax). The UK government would tax the difference between that and the UK rate, or 19.5%. So Ms Murty saves £2.1m per year through her "non-dom" status.

She has also reportedly received income from companies based in Mauritius, which enjoys a more favourable tax treaty with India where the Indian government withholds just 15% of dividend income from Indian companies.

It is not known whether Murty holds these shares through a company based in a Mauritius or any other tax haven.

Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for "full transparency" from the chancellor over his family's finances.

A spokesperson for HM Treasury said: "The chancellor provided a full list of all relevant interests when he first became a Minister in 2018, as required by the Ministerial Code.

"The Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests has confirmed that they are completely satisfied with the steps the Chancellor has taken to meet the requirements of the Code."

To be clear, Akshata Murty is not accused of any wrongdoing whatsoever. But someone with preferential tax status living in Number 11 Downing Street does pose uncomfortable questions for the other adult resident.


Related Articles

Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner