Rishi Sunak admits holding US green card while Chancellor

A spokeswoman for Mr Sunak said he returned it immediately after visiting the US as Chancellor

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Rishi Sunak has admitted holding a US green card while Chancellor, as Boris Johnson said he was unaware his Cabinet colleague’s wife holds the tax-reducing non-domiciled status.

The Prime Minister backed the Chancellor as doing an “outstanding job” on Friday and denied damaging leaks about the Sunaks’ tax affairs were coming from within No 10.

Mr Sunak released a statement admitting holding a permanent resident card to the States until around October, having become Chancellor in February 2020.

He has been coming under intense scrutiny after it emerged his wife Akshata Murty, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds, holds the non-dom status exempting her from paying tax in the UK on foreign income.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak alongside his wife Akshata Murthy
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak alongside his wife Akshata Murthy

Mr Sunak’s spokeswoman released a statement confirming a Sky News report that he held a green card while Chancellor until seeking guidance ahead of his first US trip in a Government capacity, in October last year.

“Rishi Sunak had a green card when he lived and worked in the US,” she said.

“Under US law, you are not presumed to be a US resident just by dint of holding a green card. Furthermore, from a US immigration perspective, it is presumed that permanent resident status is automatically abandoned after prolonged absences from the US.

“At the same time, one is required to file US tax returns. Rishi Sunak followed all guidance and continued to file US tax returns, but specifically as a non-resident, in full compliance with the law.

“As required under US law and as advised, he continued to use his green card for travel purposes.

“Upon his first trip to the US in a government capacity as Chancellor, he discussed the appropriate course of action with the US authorities. At that point it was considered best to return his green card, which he did immediately.

“All laws and rules have been followed and full taxes have been paid where required in the duration he held his green card.”