Rishi Sunak has published his personal tax return, showing he paid more than £500,000 in UK tax last year, as his total income rose to £2.2m.

The summary of the prime minister’s financial affairs was made public on Friday afternoon as parliament was in recess.

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The document shows he paid a tax bill of £508,308 in the financial year 2022-23 – around £75,000 more than what he paid in the previous year.

Mr Sunak made nearly £1.8m through capital gains – up from £1.6m in 2021/22 – as well as £293,407 in other interest and dividends.

Rishi Sunak's tax return. Source: screenshot of UK government document
Rishi Sunak’s tax return

All of the investment income and capital gains came from a US-based investment fund listed as a blind trust, according to the summary.

He also earned £139,477 from his roles as an MP and prime minister.

Critics pointed out that he paid the same effective tax rate as a teacher despite raking in millions more.

This is because most of his earnings were in the form of capital gains, which is taxed at a lower rate than income.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty greet people on stage, at Britain's Conservative Party's annual conference in Manchester, Britain, October 4, 2023. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Rishi Sunak and his wife have a combined wealth estimated at about £529m. Pic: Reuters

The document shows the Tory leader’s total income was up 13% from the previous year, rising from nearly £2m to £2.2m.

It takes his total earnings over the last four years to about £7m.

He paid an overall tax rate of about 23% of his annual income – with the release of the document sparking calls for tax reform.

Tax expert Dan Neidle said: “What devious planning did he use to pay so little tax? Absolutely none. Most of that £2.3m is in the form of capital gains, and we tax capital gains on shares at only 20%.”

Robert Palmer, executive director at Tax Justice UK, said: “At the moment someone who earns most of their money from their wealth – like the prime ninister – pays a much lower tax rate than someone who relies on going out to work for their living. We need to fix this to make sure that income from wealth is taxed at the same rate as income from work.”

Labour MP Richard Burgon posted on X: “Our tax system is rigged in favour of the super-rich. It’s time to make them pay their fair share!”

Mr Sunak vocally backed the slashing of the top rate of capital gains tax (CGT) from 28% to 20% by the Tory government in 2016.

The top rate of income tax is 45%, and there have long been calls to make the system fairer.

Rather than a full tax return, Number 10 published “a summary” of Mr Sunak’s UK taxable income, capital gains and tax paid over the last tax year as reported to HM Revenue & Customs. It was prepared by accountancy service Evelyn Partners.

A summary of his tax affairs for the year 2021/22 was also published last March, showing the prime minister paid £432,493 in taxes that year.

Why did the prime minister publish his tax returns?

Mr Sunak first said he would publish his tax returns during his unsuccessful campaign to be Tory leader against Liz Truss in the summer of 2022.

The prime minister is thought to be one of the richest MPs in parliament and his personal wealth has long been used by opponents to attack him as being “out of touch”.

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Who is Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty?

Mr Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, the daughter of the billionaire co-founder of Indian IT giant Infosys, have a combined wealth estimated at about £529m, according to 2023’s Sunday Times Rich List.

Pressure about their finances started piling on Mr Sunak while he was chancellor, after it emerged Ms Murty had non-dom status – meaning she did not have to pay UK tax on her international income.

Following a significant backlash, Ms Murthy announced she would pay UK tax on all her worldwide wealth to stop the issue from acting as a “distraction for her husband”.

However, the calls for the prime minister to release his tax details then grew louder following the controversy around Nadhim Zahawi, who was sacked as Tory Party chairman in January 2023 after he failed to disclose millions of pounds in tax.

Mr Sunak, a former investment banker and hedge fund manager has hit back at critics of his vast wealth, saying he “worked really hard for everything that I’ve got” and that those using it as a “political smear” lacked ambition for the country.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, whose tax summary was also published, paid a total of £117,418 in UK tax in 2022/2023.

His total income before tax was £416,605.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is expected to follow Mr Sunak’s example by publishing his tax return.


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