The wife of British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is treated as a non-resident for UK tax purposes but pays tax in the UK on all her UK income, her spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Akshata Murthy is the daughter of Narayana Murthy, the billionaire co-founder of IT services company Infosys, and she owns about 0.93% of the company. The tax status means it will not pay tax on dividends from Indian business in the UK.
The news, which featured prominently in UK newspapers on Thursday, comes as the government is levying taxes for millions of people. Tulip Siddiq, the legislator and Treasury spokesman in the opposition Labor Party, said Sunak should say whether he benefited from his wife’s tax situation.
Murthy’s spokesperson said that as a citizen of India, Murthy was considered a non-resident for UK tax purposes under British law as India does not allow its citizens to simultaneously hold citizenship of another country.
Sunak, who became finance minister in February 2020 as the country entered the COVID-19 pandemic, now faces some of the toughest economic conditions in decades, with rising inflation and living standards last seen in the 1950s. has fallen to the observed levels.
To help rebuild the country’s National Health Service and its public finances, he has raised the tax to the highest level since the 1940s.
“Akshata Murthy is a citizen of India, her country of birth and her parents’ home,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “India does not allow its citizens to simultaneously hold citizenship of another country.
“He has always and will continue to pay UK taxes on all his UK income.”
A person familiar with the situation said Sunak had announced his wife’s status to the government when he became a minister and the Treasury Department was also informed. The person, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said that Murthy pays foreign taxes on his foreign income.