Boris Johnson, the front-runner to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister this week, is well known to Londoners for myriad reasons, including having unofficially lent his name to a bicycle-sharing scheme (“Boris bikes”) that was launched in 2010, and with which he, a keen cyclist himself, was associated.
Less well known to many of his fellow Londoners is that he had a bitter and rather public battle with the U.S. IRS six years ago, when it sought to tax him on the sale of his London property, owing to the fact of his American citizenship, acquired at birth.
Below is an updated version of a story on his U.S. tax travails that we first ran last September. We thought it timely to revisit this issue now, because London property experts report that Americans currently account for a disproportionately large share of those currently shopping for – and buying – London properties, helped by a dollar that’s at near-record highs against the pound, and expected to strengthen further. At the same time, London property prices have been under pressure, with the average value of a London home reported recently to be down by 4.4% in the year to the end of May.
When British politician Boris Johnson renounced his citizenship in 2016, many observers speculated that he had finally been moved to do it after the seemingly ill-advised sale of his home in north London in 2009 saw him hit with a significant (said to be in the tens of thousands of pounds) capital gains tax payable to the U.S. government on his half of the profit from the sale.