• | 12:20 pm

Poonawalla cautions against UK move to end tax policy in FT interview

Vaccine maker says abolishing non-dom tax regime will ‘make Britain a harder place to do business’

Poonawalla cautions against UK move to end tax policy in FT interview
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Serum Institute of India chief executive Adar Poonawalla has slammed the UK’s move to phase out “non-dom” tax incentives available to foreigners as well as the country’s post-Brexit immigration curbs, in an interview to the Financial Times.

Poonawalla had recently purchased a property in Mayfair, an affluent and prestigious area near Hyde Park, for £138 million ($173 million) in one of London’s most expensive home sales.

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had announced in the budget earlier this year that the government would phase out the non-dom tax status.

The nom-dom tax policy allows British residents with a permanent home overseas to skirt paying taxes on foreign income and gains in the UK. They pay UK tax on the money that they earn in the UK only.

Wealthy people often tapped this route, choosing a lower-tax country as their domicile to save significantly on taxes.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, who is also Infosys Ltd co-founder N. R. Narayana Murty’s daughter, is one of the most well-known non-doms.

Murty had agreed to start paying UK tax on her earnings generated outside the UK after details of her status had emerged.

Poonawalla said in the FT interview that plans to abolish the non-dom tax regime would “make Britain a harder place to do business.”

Stringent immigration rules put in place after Brexit has made it difficult for employers to fill positions, Poonawalla said in the interview, advocating for a more open visa system to allow anyone who wants to come and work freely in the UK.

The vaccine maker had in December 2021 pledged £50 million ($62.64 million) to the University of Oxford for a research campus that would also house the institute behind the AstraZeneca-Oxford covid-19 shot.

The Pune-based vaccine manufacturer had this week shipped 43,200 doses of R21 or Matrix-M malaria vaccine to Africa, the company said.

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