Do Royals Pay Taxes? These Royal Family Members Do

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Yui Mok/AFP/Getty Images

If you’ve been following the British royal family, one thing you might be curious about is their finances. Specifically, do the royals pay taxes? One thing we know is that The Crown has a tax-exempt status because certain acts of parliament don’t apply to them. Furthermore, the sovereign is not legally required to pay income, capital gains, or inheritance tax. However, some royals still choose to pay taxes. Here’s a rundown of a few royal tax payers.

Queen Elizabeth

If you didn’t have to pay taxes, we’re guessing you would jump at the opportunity to save some cash. Although one royal was given that chance, she waived her right to avoid taxes. Queen Elizabeth is not legally obligated to pay tax, however she voluntarily began paying income and capital gains tax in 1992.

The Queen also pays council tax on all four of her properties. She pays more than $12,000 each year. Her council tax payments include $1,759.61 annually for Buckingham Palace, $3,111.32 for Windsor Castle, $3,990.11 for Sandringham Estate, and $3,199.27 for Balmoral Castle.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles also pays income and capital gains tax. Starting in 1969, he made voluntary tax payments. Although he pays taxes, some reports say he has been looking for ways to pay less. A tell-all book released by author Tom Bowers early in 2018 claims Prince Charles attempted to avoid paying some taxes so he could pay his staff, according to the UK’s Express.

Furthermore, the Public Accounts Committee reportedly investigated the planting of the trees on duchy land for Prince Charles that cost $3,258,203. Prince Charles is accused of taking the money without paying taxes. “After the investigation of some of the family’s accounts, the national audit office concluded that there were ‘obscurities and potential conflicts of interest’ in the accounts of the Duchy of Cornwall—which in 2004 was providing Prince Charles an income of £11.9 million a year,” reports the Express.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle’s tax situation is a lot more complicated now that she is a member of the British royal family. As an expatriate with a spouse who is a not a citizen of the United States, the Duchess will have to report a ton of information to the IRS.

The Wall Street Journal reports she will have to let the IRS know financial information such as any tiara or diamond jewelry Queen Elizabeth gives or loans, vacations at one of the Queen’s castles, and any debit or credit card linked to Prince Harry’s bank account containing more than $10,000. “To be sure, wearing the tiaras and living at the palace won’t necessarily raise your U.S. tax bill. But the penalties for not making the proper reports to U.S. authorities are often severe and can be as much as half the total assets in an account,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

Another surprising fact about the British royal family’s finances

Another thing you might be surprised to learn is that some royals pay rent. Among the royal rent payers are Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

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