GEORGE OSBORNE has released his tax return in the midst of the Panama Papers controversy, after Downing Street urged “potential prime ministers” and chancellors to publish their tax returns in the future.
According to London-based Top 50 firm HW Fisher & Company, Osborne paid a total of £72,210 in income tax in 2014/15 on a total taxable income of £198,738.
The chancellor earned £33,562 in net rental income, representing the chancellor’s share (50%) of the income he receives by letting out his London home with his wife.
Osborne also gained £44,647 in dividend income, all of which relates to shares he owns in Osborne and Little Group, a family wallpaper business founded by his father.
“The dividends are derived from shares that the chancellor of the exchequer owns directly, and also as life tenant of a family trust, based and resident in the UK which holds, as its sole asset, shares in that company,” stated the return, which also confirmed that Osborne paid income tax on the dividends.
In February Osborne was criticised for receiving part of a £335,000 dividend payout form the business, despite the company failing to pay income tax since 2007. The business had experienced difficult trading and incurred losses in four of its trading periods. Under UK tax legislation losses incurred in prior periods are offset against profits of later periods.
Some critics have already given their opinion on Osborne’s tax return, questioning why Osborne has only published one year of returns, unlike David Cameron who published a summary of his tax returns from 2009 to 2015. London Major Boris Johnson has also released details of his tax returns from 2011-2015, with Top 50 firm Begbies providing the details.
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