Prince Harry has reportedly found a way to avoid paying the taxes that would normally accompany the decision to decamp from his home country of the United Kingdom to sunny California.
According to The Express, tax expert David Lesperance claimed that he believes the redheaded prince will use one of his charities, the Invictus Games, to take advantage of a loophole to avoid the taxman.
Lesperance noted the duke could qualify for an O nonimmigrant visa, which per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is given to an individual who “possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.”
The financial expert believes the prince will claim the Invictus Games should qualify him for the visa. The duke founded the competition in 2014 to create a sporting event for wounded veterans. It consists of nine disability-adapted sports and includes veterans from 20 nations, including the United States, the Netherlands, and Australia.
He added it is likely the prince is planning on taking this route as the other option is becoming a green card holder. Though the legal process to become a resident alien would be an easy one — he would qualify as the spouse of American-born Meghan Markle — it would mean the prince would have to pay taxes.
“The key for Harry is, does he want to be a taxpayer in the [United States]? Because if you are a U.S. person for tax purposes and you are a U.S. person who happens to reside in California, that’s a lot of taxes that you are taking on,” Lesperance explained.
The Golden State is known for its high state income rate, which climbs to 13.3 percent for the state’s highest earners.
“Obviously the goal… is to keep the tax paid as low as possible,” he continued, adding the rates are set by local legislation. But the financial expert also noted taking advantage of loopholes is nothing new for celebrities.
“But [they] have a lot of control, however, over what is included in the ‘taxable income’… [the] immigration planning that he engages in right now is very important,” he concluded.
However, there is one drawback to the O nonimmigrant visa status. Those who stay in the country for more than 183 days will likely have their status challenged. Prince Harry has been in California for 155 days at present.
Meanwhile, a recent source close to the prince claimed Harry will only return to Great Britain if “absolutely necessary,” as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.