Rishi Sunak wife: Akshata Murty’s wealth and tax status explained

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Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty have come under intense scrutiny in recent days over their vast wealth and the status of his wife living in the UK while taking huge payments from her father’s foreign IT firm. The Chancellor has come forward to defend his wife, criticising Labour for taking aim at his wife’s tax status – but what is all the fuss about?

What is happening with Mr Sunak’s wife?

The ongoing row over Ms Murty relates to her status living in the UK as a foreigner.

Ms Murty holds non-domicile status in the UK, meaning she is not legally obliged to pay tax in the UK on her foreign income.

It has been reported she took £11.6 million in dividends in the past year from Infosys, the Indian IT firm founded by her father.

Ms Murty’s non-dom status means she would not have paid UK tax – at a rate of 39.35 percent – on the £11.6m she took in dividends.

Mr Sunak’s wife has insisted she pays taxes on all UK income and said her status is required due to her being an Indian citizen.

Ms Murty has been living in the UK for the past nine years, two years past the seven-year cut off period.

She pays a £30,000 “annual charge” to the Treasury for the right to maintain her non-dom status beyond the usual terms.

What has Rishi Sunak said?

Mr Sunak attacked Labour, who said it would amount to “breathtaking hypocrisy” if Ms Murty had reduced her tax bill as Mr Sunak raised taxes for ordinary working people.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Mr Sunak faced “very serious questions to answer” about his family’s finances,

He said: “If it now transpires that his wife has used schemes to reduce her tax, while he’s been increasing taxes on working people, that’s breathtaking hypocrisy.”

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In response, speaking to the Sun Mr Sunak said: “Every single penny she earns in the UK she pays UK taxes on… and every penny that she earns internationally, for example in India, she would pay the full taxes on that.

“To smear my wife to get at me is awful. And if she was living here and didn’t just happen to be married to me, this obviously would not be at all relevant.”

He said it was unfair to attack his wife when she was a “private citizen”, adding: “I’m an elected politician. So I know what I signed up for.”

He also insisted his wife was domiciled in India as she will eventually return there to care for her parents when they are older.

How rich are the Sunaks?

The wealth of the Sunak family is nothing short of enormous.

Ms Murty, 42, is sitting on an estimated £690 million fortune held in shares in Infosys.

Her family also has a £900 million joint venture with Amazon in India, while Ms Murty herself owns a UK-based venture capital company, and is a director or direct shareholder at five other UK companies.

The exact net worth of the pair is unknown – although Mr Sunak is believed to be the richest man in the House of Commons.

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