Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Settle your six-figure US tax bill
Boris Johnson should settle a six-figure tax bill in the US, the American ambassador indicated yesterday.
The London Mayor, who was born in New York and has dual citizenship, revealed last month that he is being pursued by the US tax authorities over profits made on the sale of a home in London.
American citizens are required to pay taxes on income over a certain level, even if the money is already taxed abroad.
Mr Johnson described the demand as ‘incredible’, and suggested he would not pay.
But US Ambassador Matthew Barzun indicated that Mr Johnson should settle up.
Speaking to journalists in Westminster, he refused to be drawn on the details of the London Mayor’s case.
But he said: ‘We have our rules and we expect people to play by them.
'If you get the benefits of being an American citizen you pay your fair share in taxes.’
The disputed tax bill is believed to relate to the sale of Mr Johnson’s first home in London.
He is reported to have bought the property in Islington, north London, for £470,000 in 1999. It was sold a decade later for £1.2million.
His salary as Mayor is £144,000 and he is paid £250,000 for a newspaper column.
The US embassy is also involved in a long-running row with the capital’s authorities over more than £8million in congestion charge fees run up by diplomats, which it refuses to pay.
In July last year, ahead of Mr Barzun’s arrival, Mr Johnson praised his diplomatic abilities, then added: ‘I do hope he’ll put those skills to good use in finding the more than £6million owed by US diplomats to Londoners in unpaid C-charge fines.’
And ahead of a state dinner in honour of Barack Obama in London in May 2011, he said: ‘Maybe when President Obama’s hors d’oeuvre plate is whisked away he will find a bill for £5.5m.’