The White House has said it has no information on the US green card that Rishi Sunak held for almost two years after he became chancellor, legally declaring him a “permanent US resident”.
It follows the Chancellor’s admission on Friday that he had held a US green card during his stay at Downing Street. Their holders must pay taxes in America and declare their intention to make the United States their permanent place of residence.
Here is an exclusive report from The Independent which revealed that the Chancellor’s wife, Akhshata Murty, despite residing in Whitehall, has Non-Dom tax status – meaning she is not legally required to pay UK tax on her overseas income.
Mr. Sunak, who has been an MP since 2015, only surrendered his green card in October last year – despite the fact that those who serve in or stand for election in a foreign government, according to the US regulations are incompatible with a lawful permanent resident status.
Citing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Handbook, a journalist for The Independent Press Secretary Jen Psaki asked why the White House had not reported the matter earlier.
In response, Ms. Psaki referred our reporter to US State and Homeland Security, adding that she had “no more comment from here.”
When asked if President Joe Biden saw it as a problem that someone serving at a senior level in a foreign government retained U.S. permanent resident status, she again declined to comment.
“I’ll see if we can offer you more,” she said.
A spokeswoman for the Richmond MP in Yorkshire earlier released a statement confirming that a Sky news report that Mr. Sunak held a green card during his time as Chancellor until he sought advice in a government capacity prior to his first US trip.
For US income tax purposes, anyone who holds a green card is treated as a “lawful permanent resident” and is considered a “US tax resident for US income tax purposes.”
She said Mr. Sunak continued to file US tax returns “but specifically as a nonresident, in full compliance with the law” after receiving a green card while living and working in the States.
“As required by US law and as recommended, he has continued to use his green card for travel purposes,” the spokeswoman said.
“On his first trip to the United States 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 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.”