THE Chancellor’s wife claimed non-domicile status to pay less tax just two months after he took up the position, according to reports.

Millionaire Akshata Murthy used the tax status in April 2020, two sources told The Independent.

The Treasury and Sunak did not respond to requests for comment made after the claims.

It comes after the UK Chancellor faced scrutiny over an Indian technology company in which Murthy has shares operating in Russia.

Following pressure for Sunak to answer questions, Infosys, founded by his wife’s billionaire father N.R. Narayana Murthy, announced it would close its office in Russia and seek new roles for staff.

The row prompted Sunak to joke: “Someone said, ‘Joe Root, Will Smith, and me – not the best of weekends for any of us’. But I feel, on reflection, both Will Smith and me having our wives attacked – at least I didn’t get up and slap anybody, which is good.

“You know, I think it’s totally fine for people to take shots at me. It’s fair game. I’m the one sitting here and that’s what I signed up for.

“Actually, it’s very upsetting and, I think, wrong for people to try and come at my wife, and you know, beyond that actually, with regard to my father-in-law, for whom I have nothing but enormous pride and admiration for everything that he’s achieved, and no amount of attempted smearing is going to make me change that because he’s wonderful and has achieved a huge amount.”

The sources who spoke to The Independent said Murthy could have saved millions of pounds on her tax bill on foreign earnings over several years by using the non-dom status.

Non-domiciled status – which is entirely legal – means that UK residents whose permanent “home” is outside the UK may not have to pay UK tax on foreign income or inheritance tax.

There is no set-in-stone checklist of what non-dom status entails, but official government advice reads: “Your domicile is usually the country your father considered his permanent home when you were born. It may have changed if you moved abroad and you do not intend to return.”

It stems from 1799, allowing Brits in the colonies to avoid war taxes.

The Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 enacted a change requiring members of the House of Lords to be domiciled in the UK for tax purposes, with five peers giving up their position in order to maintain non-dom status.

Murthy went to the private Claremont McKenna College in California to study economics and French, also studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise in Los Angeles and Stanford University, where she met Sunak.

She has worked as a marketing director and run her own fashion label, which collapsed in three years.

Murthy now has shares in a wide variety of UK companies, including roles as a director.

The wealth of Sunak and his wife has sparked fears from Tories that it may make him too disagreeable to be Prime Minister, despite polling previously having him as a leadership frontrunner.

The pair own four homes, including a Santa Monica penthouse worth £5.5m which Sunak was said to be holidaying at during the current Easter recess of Parliament.

David Cameron’s former speechwriter Clare Foges wrote in The Times: “As a conservative and celebrator of success it pains me to say so, but for top-rank politicians in Britain there is such a thing as being too rich. Specifically, Sunak is too wealthy to be prime minister.”

The Chancellor also faced a backlash after it was revealed that he and his wife have donated more than £100,000 to Winchester College since becoming Chancellor.

The cash goes towards bursaries for children attending the £43,335-a-year institution.

A spokeswoman for Sunak said: “Rishi and his wife have donated to numerous charities and philanthropic causes for many years and will continue to do so.”