Here's Why Meghan Markle—Worth $5 Million—Won't See Any Royal Income
As long as she's a U.S. citizen, the royal family will guard all assets.
Meghan Markle may be marrying her prince charming—but it could cost her.
According to a report in The Sun, the actress will have to continue to pay taxes to the IRS unless she renounces her U.S. citizenship.
The former actress has said she intends to become a British citizen after her May 19 wedding to Prince Harry, but according the British law, she can only become naturalized after she's lived in Britain for three years.
Royal expert Marlene Koenig told The Sun: "Even when married to a member of the British royal family, as long as she remains a U.S. citizen she will have to pay income tax."
This will likely cause Prince Harry to keep their finances separate after the wedding in order to protect the royal family's fortune away from the tax man.
If Meghan were to receive any money from Harry or the Royal Family after the couple marries, it would be considered income. This means her tax liability would extend to Harry's substantial fortune, which could cause some serious financial headaches for the royals who have not previously had to reveal details of various trusts.
According to the report in The Sun, if Meghan has more than $382,000 worth of assets in any given tax year, she would need to file a Form 8938 revealing the detail of these assets—which could include details of the royal family's estate that was previously undisclosed.
Meghan made a reported $63,000 per episode of Suits this year and has an estimated net worth of around $5 million, according to celebritynetworth.com.
Prince Harry, who receives no public funding, has a considerable personal fortune. He received half of Princess Diana's £21.5 million estate and shares a £3.5 million annual allowance with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
If Meghan's name is on any of the royal family's accounts, that would mean the previously secret details of the British royal family's finances would be part of an IRS tax return.
Interestingly, if Harry and Meghan were to live in America, the prince would not have to file taxes in Britain.
All of this surely means the infamous "Men in Grey" at Buckingham Palace are just as busy protecting the royal assets as Meghan and Harry are planning their wedding. And for more on the upcoming royal nuptials, take a look at the 10 Things We Know About Harry and Meghan's Wedding.
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana: A Novel.
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