Rishi Sunak paid more than £1 million in tax in past three years, records show

London: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has published his six-figure tax bill following months of political pressure, showing that he paid more than three-quarters of a million dollars in the last full financial year.

Records show much of the £432,493 ($791,392) paid in tax by Sunak, who worked for Goldman Sachs and later as a partner at hedge fund firms before entering politics, was on his capital gains earnings, which were more than £1.64 million in the 2021-22 tax year.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.Credit:AP

He also paid $6892 of taxes in the US, his first public tax summary has shown.

Sunak had been facing calls to publish his tax return after his financial affairs came under the spotlight during his failed leadership campaign against Liz Truss. He first promised to release his tax return in November 2022.

There was speculation that the tax returns could be controversial given that they were scheduled to be published while his predecessor, Boris Johnson, was giving evidence to the Committee of Privileges investigation into whether he misled MPs over the so-called Partygate scandal.

Three years of returns revealed he paid more than £1 million in UK tax in 2019-2020 on earnings of more than £4.7 million from income and a US-based investment fund.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy, who has a significant foreign income.Credit:Getty

Last year, it was revealed that Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murthy, had claimed non-domicile status, allowing her to avoid British tax on her vast foreign income, derived from her billionaire father’s Indian firm, Infosys.

Following a significant backlash, Murthy – a fashion designer who married Sunak in 2009 – renounced her non-dom status and said she would pay UK tax on all her worldwide wealth to stop the issue from acting as a “distraction for her husband”.

At about the same time, Sunak admitted he had held a US green card – allowing permanent residence in that country – while he was chancellor. A release from his accountants, Evelyn Partners, said that much of the capital gains tax related to a “single, US-based investment fund”.

The fund was the blind trust into which the prime minister put his investments upon entering government, the accountants said.

Sunak is one of the richest MPs in British Parliament, and his personal wealth is something opposition parties have often used as a political attack line. As prime minister, he is entitled to an annual salary of £164,951, with half made up of a ministerial salary and the other half of the salary – £84,144 – earned as an elected member of parliament.

Earlier this year he sacked his colleague, Nadhim Zahawi, as Conservative Party chairman after he failed to disclose millions of pounds in tax owed. An ethics inquiry ordered by Sunak found Zahawi guilty of a “serious breach” of the ministerial code after he was believed to have paid a penalty as part of an estimated £4.8 million settlement dispute with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Former Conservative prime minister David Cameron published his tax return in 2016 after revelations about his late father’s offshore fund were revealed in the Panama Papers, a wide-ranging expose of global offshore accounts.

Theresa May also released her tax return during her campaign to be Tory leader in 2016, but did not do so when she was prime minister. Neither Johnson nor Truss published their tax returns.

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