Akshata Murty to get almost £6.7m in Infosys dividends

Income of Rishi Sunak’s wife from Indian tech firm to reach £13m for financial year

The prime minister’s wife, Akshata Murty, will receive nearly £6.7m in dividend payments from her shares in the technology company Infosys this summer.

India’s second biggest IT company, co-founded by Rishi Sunak’s father in law, revealed the latest dividend for shareholders in annual results on Thursday.

The payment, which is due to be distributed in July, will bring Murty’s earnings from Infosys to £13m for this financial year. The company announced a first dividend after its financial results in October, of which Murty’s share was an estimated £6.25m.

It earlier emerged that Murty, who has invested in a string of small businesses in the UK, had used non-domicile status to save money on her tax bill in April last year, while her husband was chancellor and the couple were living in Downing Street.

Responding to public criticism she said she would no longer claim the status on a remittance basis, which lets non-doms play a flat fee of £30,000 a year in exchange for shielding overseas earning from British tax. Under this arrangement only money brought in or “remitted” to the UK is taxed here.

A spokesperson for Murty said: “Akshata Murty pays UK tax as well as relevant foreign tax on all her worldwide income.”

While she has promised to pay UK tax on all her income, Murty retains non-dom status. Her family could therefore be exempt from inheritance tax on any assets she holds abroad in the event of her death.

When she issued a statement in April 2022, Murty said she would, from then on “pay UK tax on an arising basis” on all her “worldwide income, including dividends and capital gains, wherever in the world that income arises”.

She said: “I do this because I want to, not because the rules require me to. These new arrangements will begin immediately and will also be applied to the tax year just finished.”

It is unclear whether she receives the dividend payment directly from Infosys and therefore whether this would be realised as income, and taxed directly in the UK.

A spokesperson for Murty did not respond to a question about whether she used any offshore trusts to manage her finances.

Murty has used a tax haven for other business interests. In 2020 the Guardian revealed that she held shares in a restaurants business that funnelled investments through a letterbox company in the tax haven of Mauritius, in a structure that could allow its backers to avoid taxes in India.

Infosys shares fell in early trading on Thursday, after it revealed that its forecast sales would be lower than expected by analysts.

In January Infosys annual report also revealed that it was in dispute with HMRC over a corporation tax bill of around £20m. The company said it had filed an appeal against a tax assessment in the UK.

Neither Murty nor her father have a management role at Infosys.


Anna Isaac and Graeme Wearden

The GuardianTramp

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