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Revealed: Britain’s top 50 taxpayers

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The 50 wealthy individuals or families at the top of the first Sunday Times Tax List,  were liable for nearly £2bn of UK tax last year.

The Sunday Times survey, the first of its kind, examined the taxes due on business profits, share sales, dividend income, and, where known, personal income through their salaries.

Twenty-eight of the 145 billionaires in last year’s Sunday Times Rich List make the top 50 of the Tax List, with a further 18 millionaires also making the cut. Four of the Tax Listers did not appear in the Rich List but are still making a big enough contribution to the Exchequer to be among the taxman’s best friends.

Stephen Rubin tops the list and he owns a majority stake in the high-street chain JD Sports, as well as sports and fashion brands such as Mitre, Speedo, Berghaus and SeaVees through his London-based Pentland Group. In total he had tax liabilities of £181.6m in 2018, £121.5m of it stemming from his JD Sports holding, £53.2m from his Pentland’s corporate tax bill, plus another £6.86m tax bill on the £18m of dividends he and his family received from the business during the year.

A notable inclusion in 49th place are David & Victoria Beckham. David Beckham was reportedly overlooked for a knighthood because of an investment in a film scheme considered tax avoidance by HRMC. It is calculated the Beckhams paid a total of £12.7m of tax, due from their dividends and other levies in the accounts of their two principal companies. Those behind the film scheme Becks invested in – run by Ingenious Media – still maintain it was lawful.

Robert Watts, who compiles the Tax List and The Sunday Times Rich List said, “It’s hard to deny that the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and other high-profile scandals have given the impression that none of Britain’s wealthy elite contribute a penny to our public finances.

“But our inaugural Sunday Times Tax List shows which of the super-rich are contributing many of millions of pounds a year. These are large sums of money – the size that do not merely pay for a nurse, but pay to build the hospital in which they work.

“These figures arguably make the case for the wealthy more effectively than many charitable foundations or other philanthropy these people do.

“The Tax List also raises the question of how our country fills the gap if Brexit – or a more hostile political environment – encourages the super-rich to quit the UK for Monaco, Switzerland or other low-tax bolt holes.”

THE FULL LIST OF BRITAIN’S TOP 50 TAXPAYERS

TAX LIST RANK

NAME

 BUSINESS SECTOR

TAX LIABILITY 2017/18 (£m)

RICH LIST RANK

2018 WEALTH (£m)

1

Stephen Rubin and family

Sportswear

181.6

49

2,820

2

Denise, John and Peter Coates

Gambling

156.0

21

5,754

3

Sir James Dyson and family

Household goods and technology

127.8

12

9,500

4

Bruno Schroder and family

Finance

114.3

24

5,239

5

Jim Ratcliffe

Chemicals

110.5

1

21,050

6

The Weston family

Retailing

76.0

9

10,050

7

Sir Chris Hohn

Hedge fund

64.8

136=

1,000

8

Sir Peter Wood

Insurance

53.7

172

781

9

James Benamor

Finance

52.2

337=

380

10

Baroness Howard de Walden and family

Property

44.1

30

4,015

11

Tom Morris and family

Discount stores

39.2

37

3,490

12=

John Reece

Chemicals

36.8

16=

7,000

12=

Andy Currie

Chemicals

36.8

16=

7,000

14

Peter Hargreaves

Finance

35.6

42

3,164

15

Glenn Gordon and family

Spirits

35.1

55

2,572

16

John Bloor

Construction and property

34.9

73

1,858

17

Lord Edmiston

Car sales and property

34.4

133

1,040

18

Ross Turner

Hedge fund

33.6

410=

300

19

Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family

Oil, gas and wine

32.6

22

5,556

20

Mike Ashley

Sports equipment and fashion

30.4

58

2,437

21

Peter Harris and family

Hotels and caravan parks

30.3

167=

800

22

The Duke of Westminster & The Grosvenor family

Property

27.2

10

9,964

23

The Cadogan family

Property

26.4

20

6,700

24

Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora

Discount stores

25.6

60

2,300

25

Chris and Sarah Dawson

Discount stores

25.4

71

1,960

26

Steve Morgan

Construction

24.3

150

942

27

Henry Moser

Finance

24.0

134=

1,010

28

David Harding

Hedge fund

23.6

136=

1,000

29

Julian Dunkerton

Fashion

23.4

297

441

30

The Clark family (car dealers)

Car sales

22.3

120=

1,175

31

Patrick McKenna

Finance and media

22.2

n/a

32

Tony Pidgley

Construction

21.9

399=

310

33

James and John Martin and family

Ejection seats

21.4

178

765

34

Sten Mortstedt

Property

21.2

205

675

35

Stephen Butt and family

Finance

21.0

180=

750

36

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and family

Aviation

20.7

48

2,950

37

Daren Whitaker

Construction

19.2

n/a

38

Bernard Lewis and family

Fashion and property

18.6

63

2,125

39=

Philip Day

Fashion

17.7

115=

1,200

39=

Neil Moffitt

Restaurants

17.7

n/a

41

Sir Charles Dunstone

Mobile phones

16.9

153

918

42

Charles Rolls

Drinks

16.8

372=

340

43

Eugene Kaspersky

Anti-virus software

16.6

n/a

44

John Kirkland and family

Construction

16.4

242=

530

45

Charles Cayzer and family

Finance

15.7

149

949

46

John Whittaker and family

Property

15.6

61

2,250

47

The Warburton family

Baking

14.5

238

545

48

Peter Cruddas and family

Finance

12.9

206

661

49

David and Victoria Beckham

Football and fashion

12.7

372=

340

50

Clinton, Spencer and John McCarthy

Construction

12.1

213

635




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