As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry get ready for their wedding this May, there is certainly plenty on their minds. However, they might have something other than seating arrangements and hors d’oeuvre to consider: next year’s taxes.
According to British immigration law, Markle will not be considered a British citizen upon marriage. Instead, she will have to wait a specified period of five years before applying for citizenship. Until such a time, she must be considered an American citizen.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) February 3, 2018
A recent report from Business Insider explains how the United State’s expatriate tax return will play a factor in Markle’s British-earned income next year.
Avani Ramnani, a director of financial planning and wealth management at Francis Financial, says of the tax, “US citizens, green card holders, and permanent residents are required to file tax returns with the IRS every year no matter where they reside.”
As such, Markle will have to file taxes in the top bracket according to the lavish allowances she will be provided as a member of the Royal family.
It is rumored that Prince William and Princess Kate are annually provided over a million dollars for such allowances.
Although these taxes are certainly manageable for the Royal Family, the biggest headache could be reporting details of royal assets to the U.S. government. It is supposed that this could result in harsh, public scrutiny.
This tax may be entirely avoided if Markle is able to get on a fast-track to British citizenship. Normally, this is impossible; however, there might be a loophole.
According to British Nationalization Policy, there is one applicable exception to the normal policy. If an applicant is a “member of diplomatic staff,” absolute discretion may be practiced.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) February 5, 2018
If Markle could be considered a diplomat, which is not entirely a stretch, she could be granted citizenship regardless of the amount of time she has spent in England.
Absolute discretion may be used when, “there may be exceptional reasons relating to either the applicant’s employment, or to […] particularly compelling circumstances relating to the applicant or the interests of the UK.”
Section 8(3) of the British Immigration Act of 1971 provides this potential loophole.
Because Markle’s citizenship is particularly compelling to the interests of Great Britain (based on maintaining the privacy of the Royal assets from foreign scrutiny), she could be granted citizenship under the premise of diplomatic identity.
However, one must still acknowledge that this line of reasoning is a bit confounded.
It may be easier for the British government to simply amend their immigration law with a Royal clause of sorts–as this situation was surely never considered previously.
Regardless of how this tax situation plays out, we hope that the new Royal family will have an even more prosperous marriage.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.