Conservative London mayoral candidate agrees on TV to publish his tax returns

Conservative London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has said he will publish his tax return after facing a grilling over his tax status.

Speaking on BBC’s Newsnight, Mr Goldsmith said: “Of course I will [publish my tax returns] and I think all candidates should in this election.

“And if this is something the candidates agree to do, then I will of course do that.

“I fully anticipate doing that.”

Goldsmith faced questions over his previous ‘non-dom’ status during the programme but insisted he has “always paid full tax” on his income because he has always lived in the UK.

Newsnight presenter Evan Davis asked Goldsmith whether his own tax affairs compromised his ability to speak out against the activities of multi-nationals, such as Google, which have been accused of tax avoidance.

Until 2010, Goldsmith, a millionaire, held a non-dom tax status which he inherited from his father, Sir James Goldsmith, who died shortly after the 1997 general election with a £1.2billion fortune.

People with the status must pay tax on their UK earnings, but do not have to pay tax on any foreign income.

“I have always been tax resident in the UK,” Goldsmith told Davis. “I have always paid full tax on my income in the UK since I’ve been paying tax since I was 18.

“Let me just explain, my father died around 20 years ago. I became non-dom at age 20 or 21. Being non-dom allows you to make lifestyle choices to avoid paying tax.” He added: “I’ve never been accused of not paying tax.”

The Goldsmith family fortune now resides in a discretionary fund run for the benefit of Sir James’s children and which is administered from Geneva.

Pressed about this by Davis, Mr Goldsmith added: “I have a huge family that covers every continent in the world, more or less. I am one of very many siblings and members of the family. My father was an international businessman. He established an overseas trust before he died.

“I am a beneficiary of that trust. I have absolutely no control over it.

“What I do have control over is the income I get. And that income I get is subject to the full tax regime in the UK and has always has been.”

In response, a spokesperson for Labour candidate Sadiq Khan told The Huffington Post UK that Mr Khan would also publish his tax return.