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London Mayor Boris Johnson: I won't pay my U.S. taxes

London Mayor Boris Johnson said U.S. citizenship is "difficult to give up" while complaining about U.S tax demands.

By Frances Burns
London Mayor Boris Johnson: I won't pay my U.S. taxes
London Mayor Boris Johnson speaks to the media after narrowly winning his second term, beating the Labour candidate Ken Livingstone at City Hall in London, May 4, 2012. UPI/Hugo Philpott | License Photo

LONDON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- London Mayor Boris Johnson, who happens to hold dual British-U.S. citizenship, says he will not pay U.S. tax on the sale of a London house.

Johnson, born in New York City, has been owes more than 100,000 pounds or about $160,000 in capital gains taxes. He told National Public Radio during a U.S. book tour that he does not feel he has any obligation to the Internal Revenue Service.

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"I think it's absolutely outrageous," he said. "Why should I? ... I haven't lived in the United States for, you know, well, since I was five years old."

Under U.S. tax rules, citizens living outside the country owe the IRS for tax on income and capital gains whether it comes from U.S. sources or not.

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Johnson has called the U.S. Embassy in London a tax cheat for failing to pay the congestion tax imposed on drivers who enter the city center during weekday business hours.

The mayor in the NPR interview did not say if he paid tax on his mayoral salary and the even larger amount he receives as a columnist for the Daily Telegraph. A spokesman told the Guardian Johnson plans no more comment on his U.S. tax status.

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The sale of the London house does not require him to pay British capital gains tax.

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Johnson, who served as a Conservative member of Parliament before his election as mayor, apparenty plans to return there. Some analysts predict he could replace Prime Minister David Cameron as party leader -- if the Tories lose their parliamentary majority.

"It's very difficult to give up," Johnson said when asked why he holds on to his U.S. citizenship and passport.

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