Prince Harry has been told that time is running to address his US immigration status, with a deadline of summer 2021 set to resolve his situation. In January 2020, Harry and wife Meghan Markle announced that they would be stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family – a move that shocked the Monarchy.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with their son Archie, currently live in California, USA. There has been much speculation surrounding Harry’s US immigration status, but David Lesperance, who advises wealthy individuals, has warned the Duke of Sussex that the clock is ticking if he is to sort out his immigration status in the US.
Mr Lesperance told Sky News: “There has been some relief given by the IRS for people who are effectively trapped in the US (because of COVID), but it is something that I’m sure, I hope that her (Markle’s) and his advisers have been turning their mind to over this past year, and certainly something that he needs to deal with before the clock kind of runs out, which will be later this summer.”
Almost a year since Harry left UK
March 2021 will mark a year since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex left the UK. Meanwhile, the Queen had been expected to conduct a review into a deal - dubbed Megxit - which was struck between the pair and the Royal Family following their departure to the US.
However, Prince Harry has been forced to cancel plans to meet with his grandmother following the emergence of a mutant strain of the coronavirus in the UK.
Nick Ede, Meghan Markle’s former PR agent, outlined what the couple needs to do to ‘cement the Sussex brand’ after the pair signed deals with Netflix and Spotify.
Mr Ede said: “They’re becoming a global entity. They’ve got the podcast, they’ve got the Netflix deal, they’ve had the warts-and-all autobiography, and it has been a very interesting journey to watch. I feel like Meghan and Harry at the moment are almost clutching at straws at what [their brand is] - is it politics, is it women’s rights?”
“You have to remember that two years ago Meghan was a Hollywood actress in a B-soap and Harry was a member of the Royal Family, who do great things. He’s not a political activist… and she’s not a human rights activist. So, I believe to get authenticity you have to earn your stripes, so hopefully they’re going to be doing that before they do too much more,” Mr Ede added.
Huge tax bill
In 2020, top LA tax lawyer David Holtz warned that Prince Harry could face a huge tax bill should his time in the US reach 183 days. Mr Holtz said: “You can safely assume that someone at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking very closely at him. This is a big deal.”
The tax expert claimed that the Duke of Sussex could be subject to both US federal and California state taxes under the ‘substantial presence test.’
Mr Holtz said: “If Harry has been in the US for 183 days straight then he is done. But it is safe to assume they have had lawyers and tax experts grinding away on this issue for months.”
US tax laws indicate that any foreign national who stays in the US for 183 consecutive days within a three-year period must pay US taxes on worldwide earnings.
According to another tax expert, Prince Harry’s tax bill could be enormous and would likely open up a ‘can of worms’ for the Royal Family as the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will want to know about all of his income sources.
The expert said: “That’s not just his Netflix deal, but any monies he might have received in gifts from Prince Charles and any trust funds, savings accounts or other assets he has in the UK. That means the Royal books will be open to scrutiny. The US taxman is far more zealous than his UK counterpart.”
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