Press Room

11 Apr 2022

Miles Dean comments on the Chancellor’s green card, in the Scotsman, and Akshata Murty’s decision to pay UK tax on her oversea’s income

Miles Dean comments on Rishi Sunak holding a green card whilst being Chancellor, and his wife Akshata Murty’s decision to pay UK tax on her oversea’s income.

Miles’ comments were published in The Scotsman, 8 April 2022, and can be found here.

“Having a green card confers no tax benefit to the holder. It allows an individual to come and go from the US as if they were a passport holder and does give rise to worldwide US taxation with the obligation to file US tax returns every year, irrespective of the number of days one spends in the US.

The Chancellor and his wife have opted into a much more complex and costly tax regime requiring them to file both in the US and the UK. The Chancellor will likely be worse off (i.e. pay more tax) by having a green card.

This is a non story and the politicians peddling it should be ashamed.”

“It’s a disgrace that Sunak’s wife has been shamed into electing to be taxed on a worldwide basis.

She, like many people in her position, come to the UK and take advantage of the remittance basis of taxation, in the knowledge and understanding that that’s what the law specifically allows. That she feels duty bound to be taxed on a worldwide basis to save her husband’s political career is utterly shameful.

Many non-doms remit funds to the UK on which tax is paid – in other words they are in control of what comes in and is taxed. She had this opportunity with her status prior to this smear campaign.

What hasn’t been mentioned, discussed or considered are the actual facts of this matter. It is assumed that Ms Murty holds the Infosys shares personally. Many Indian families establish dynastic trusts for succession planning purposes – this might be the case here: that her shares are actually held in trust for her so the dividends are received by trustees who then have a discretion to distribute to her or not.

If the Infosys shares are actually held by Ms Murty, when a dividend is paid by the Indian holding company it will be liable to 10% withholding tax per the India/UK double tax treaty. She will now pay additional tax in the UK with credit given for the Indian tax.

As usual with tax, everything depends on the facts. What we have here are assumptions and conjecture and a lot of hot air and envy.”

Miles Dean

Miles is Head of International Tax at Andersen Tax in the United Kingdom. He advises privately held multinational companies, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals on a wide range of cross border tax issues.

Email: Miles Dean