The Times published its annual Top 50 Tax List this month. So…who did pay the highest UK tax bill in the last tax year?

Top Ten UK Taxpayers

Overall, the top 50 taxpayers’ combined total is £3.7 billion. This is more than the previous tax year’s £3.2 billion. You need a minimumThe tax bill of £15.2 million to be on the list – up 16% on the previous year. So the Treasury’s happy with the additional funds coming in.

Here are 2020-21’s top 10 UK tax payers, there business and their tax bill:

  1. Denise Coates, Head of Bet365: £481.7m
  2. Chris Rokos, Rokos Capital Management Hedge Fund manager: £300m
  3. Stephen Rubin, owners of Speedo, Kickers, Berghaus and JD Sports: £256.1m
  4. Weston family, owners of Fortnum and Masons, recently sold Selfridges: £175.4m
  5. Fred and Peter Done, owners of BetFred: £170m
  6. Lord Sugar, yes, the one off The Apprentice: £163.4m
  7. Peter Harris, original co-founder of Bourne Leisure (which comprises Butlins, Warner Leisure Hotels and Haven Holidays): £141.4m
  8. Sir Chris Hohn, hedge fund manager: £126.1m
  9. Leonie Schroder, director of Schroders plc asset management company: £121.2m
  10. Alex Gerko, founded XTX Markets: £117.4m

Bet your self assessment tax bill doesn’t seem quite as bad now, does it? HMRC traditionally doesn’t make any comment about the published figures.

This seems like good news for the UK…?

Paying our tax bill is painful for us all – whether you’re just into the basic rate tax band, or in the top 50 taxpayers list. No one likes handing over money to HMRC. But we do because it’s the fairest way to fund our collective society. (And there are penalties if you don’t!)

So, more money, coming from the super wealthy, is a good thing. They’re also paying their fair share.

But deeper questions arise when you compare the top 10 UK taxpayer list with the UK’s rich list for the same year. For example, the only person appearing in the top 10 of the rich list and tax list is the Weston family. And the top of the Sunday Times’ rich list is Sir Len Blavatik, with an estimated worth of £23 billion. He’s not in the top 50 tax list at all.

Some people consider that this discrepancy demonstrates a real problem with our tax system.

George Dibb is head of the IPPR’s centre for economic justice said: “Only one name from the top 10 of last year’s [Sunday Times] Rich List appear among those thought to be the top 10 taxpayers.

“Our tax system, which supports the NHS and welfare safety net, should ensure that those with the broadest shoulders bear the biggest burden. But today it’s just too easy for some of the richest people in the country to pay little to no tax at all.”

The think tank he works for is actively campaigning for a wealth tax to redress this gross imbalance.

What do you think is the answer to this taxation issue?