Rishi Sunak Refuses to Commit to Releasing his US Tax Returns
The Prime Minister won’t say whether his long-promised tax returns will include details of his time as a US green card-holder, reports Adam Bienkov
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Rishi Sunak is refusing to commit to releasing details from his US tax returns, as he continues to delay the release of his long-promised financial details.
Sunak held a US green card during the last financial year, meaning he could have been liable to pay significant amounts of tax in the country during that period.
However, when asked if the returns will include details of his US activity, his press secretary replied that: “I’m not going to comment on what we’re going to put in the tax returns”.
Sunak initially promised to release his tax returns by Christmas last year.
However, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary told Byline Times on Wednesday that Sunak’s tax returns still “need to be looked at properly” before they can be released.
“Things need to be worked through and the details need to be looked at properly so it is presented in the clearest way for people in the most transparent way,” the spokesperson said.
The Press Secretary again told Byline Times that the returns would be released “shortly”, as they have repeatedly done since the start of this year.
However, when asked whether “shortly” meant this year, or next, the spokesperson declined to say.
“We’re just trying to make sure that it is presented in the most transparent and straightforward way for both of you and for the public”, they said.
While Sunak remains committed to releasing his tax returns in some form, and at some point, Downing Street remain hesitant to explain what they will actually contain, or how far back in time they will go.
When former Prime Minister David Cameron published his own tax return, the details extended back six years. A similarly lengthy period would cover Sunak’s time as a holder of a US Green Card as well as his time as a reported beneficiary of a trust in an overseas tax haven.
Sunak is not the only member of the Government to resist full transparency.
The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, also stonewalled similar questions about his own dealings with HMRC, telling reporters last month that he didn’t believe the public were “remotely interested” in his own tax affairs.
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A spokesperson for Labour leader Keir Starmer told Byline Times that the Prime Minister should release his full returns now.
“The Prime Minister has said that he’s going to release his tax returns and I don’t see why there’s any reason therefore then to have a delay.”
The Labour leader has committed to releasing his own tax returns if he becomes prime minister and his spokesperson said he would look at releasing them sooner if and when the Prime Minister finally releases his own.
“That’s something that we will absolutely look at if the Prime Minister does put his tax returns out, but given the amount of time it’s taken to deliver on that promise, we’ll wait and see”, they said.