Rishi Sunak admits having US green card as Chancellor | News from politics

Rishi Sunak has admitted to holding a US green card as chancellor, but his spokesman has insisted all rules have been followed.

It follows a previous Sky News report that the Chancellor and his wife Akshata Murty held US green cards – which allowed him to stay in the country – until more than a year after his tenure at 11 Downing Street.

Confirming the report, Mr Sunak’s spokeswoman said he held a green card as chancellor until around October, having become chancellor in February 2020.

Green card holders must pay US taxes on their worldwide income and promise that the US will be their forever home.

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

“Under US law, just because you have a green card, you are not deemed to be a US citizen. In addition, from a US immigration perspective, it is believed that permanent resident status is automatically relinquished by the US after an extended absence.

Rishi Sunak in Washington last October. Image: HM Treasury

“At the same time, you are required to file US tax returns. Rishi Sunak followed all instructions and continued to file US tax returns, but particularly as a non-resident, in full compliance with the law.

“As required and recommended by US law, he has continued to use his green card for travel purposes. On his first trip to the United States in government capacity as Federal 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 promptly did.

“All laws and rules were followed and full taxes were paid where required for the length of time he held his green card.”

However, the US Department of Homeland Security website states, “A green card holder is a permanent resident who has been granted permission to live and work permanently in the United States.”

Read more: Rishi Sunak is at his most difficult time as Chancellor – and it could get worse

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Sunak defends wife over tax dispute

The latest revelation helps put the spotlight on Mr Sunak’s household management after it was revealed this week that his multi-millionaire wife had ‘non-Dom’ status, which reduced her tax burden.

Pressure has been building on the chancellor since a poorly received spring declaration last month, which critics said had done too little to act the cost of living crisis — and polls suggest his popularity among voters is falling.

Then came a revelation about his £100,000 donation to his old boarding schoolWinchester, adding focus on his personal wealth and that of his multi-millionaire.

Sunak does ‘absolutely amazing work’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously insisted that Rishi Sunak had done “absolutely everything” that was required after it was reported that he held a US green card while he was Chancellor.

He told a Downing Street press conference: “As I understand it, the Chancellor has done absolutely everything that was asked of him.”

Mr Johnson also denied Number 10 v Mr Sunak was informed of his wife’s non-Dom status.

Who is Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty – and why is her family so wealthy?

Boris Johnson said Rishi Sunak was doing an “outstanding job” as chancellor.

“If there are such briefings, they will not come from us in number 10 and heaven knows where they will come from,” the Prime Minister told a Downing Street news conference.

“I think Rishi is doing an absolutely brilliant job.”

However, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Chancellor must “come clean” about his family’s tax affairs following revelations about his wife’s tax-deductible status.

Chancellor must “come in”

Opening his party’s local election campaign in Barnet, north London, Sir Keir said: “What the Chancellor has to do is just stay clean.

“If the chancellor wants to politically argue with the country that he has no alternative but to raise taxes, especially when people are really struggling, prices are high, inflation is high.

“If the chancellor family simultaneously applies measures to reduce their own household tax, then the public has a right to know about it.”

He added: “Right now it looks to me very much like one rule for her and another rule for everyone else.”

Rishi Sunak admits having US green card as Chancellor | News from politics

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