The Sunday Times Tax List 2023 reveals UK’s 100 biggest taxpayers - including Harry Potter author JK Rowling

The highest taxpayers in Britain include a scrap metal dealer, the boss of Wetherspoon, and Sting
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A mathematician who was born in Russia was the UK’s biggest taxpayer last year, while Harry Potter author and Edinburgh resident JK Rowling also features in this year’s Sunday Times Tax List.

The 100 wealthy individuals or families revealed in this year’s list, published on Friday (January 27) were liable for a total of £5.181 billion of UK tax last year.

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The fifth edition of the Tax List — released as millions of people race to meet the self-assessment deadline — features figures from the worlds of music and the arts, as well as billionaire aristocrats and rags-to-riches entrepreneurs.

The Sunday Times tax list revealed on Friday that 100 wealthy people or families contributed nearly £5.2 billion in tax in the UK last year.The Sunday Times tax list revealed on Friday that 100 wealthy people or families contributed nearly £5.2 billion in tax in the UK last year.
The Sunday Times tax list revealed on Friday that 100 wealthy people or families contributed nearly £5.2 billion in tax in the UK last year.

Well-established companies dominate the list with few firms founded in the 21st century making the cut, highlighting the challenge for the chancellor and his successors as the economy moves further online.

Published after a challenging year for the exchequer, the research found that 100 individuals and families have each paid at least £10.7 million of tax either personally or through their businesses.

The highest taxpayers in Britain include a scrap metal dealer, the boss of Wetherspoon, Sting and the Duke of Westminster.

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Robert Watts, the compiler of The Sunday Times Tax List, said: “You will find celebrities on the Tax List but many of the entries are people who quietly run largely unheralded businesses that have been creating jobs and paying millions of tax for decades or even centuries.

“So-called ‘unicorn’ tech firms may dominate the headlines, but they often aren’t cash cows for the Treasury because they don’t employ large numbers of people or show big profits. It’s the long-established retailers, pub groups and other bricks-and-mortar businesses that often contribute more.

“There lies the challenge for the chancellor and his successors. As our economy inevitably shifts further and further online, how do we continue to fund the public services we all want?”

On this year’s new No 1, Watts said: “Alex Gerko’s story is an extraordinary read. This was a man who could have been one of Russia’s greatest wealth creators — instead he is creating jobs and paying his tax here. Enticing the super-rich to London doesn’t always pay dividends for the public finances. In his case it certainly has.”

Sunday Times Tax List 2023 in full

Alex Gerko - £487.4m

Denise, John and Peter Coates - £460.2m

Stephen Rubin and family - £392.3m

Sir Chris Hohn - £263m

Fred and Peter Done and family - £136.8m

Mike Ashley - £133.5m

Tim Martin - £123.2m

Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan and family - £120.7m

Tom Morris and family - £112.2m

Ian and Richard Livingstone - £104m

Dame Mary and Douglas Perkins and family - £100.9m

Sir James Dyson and family - £93m

Lady Philomena Clark and family - £92.7m

Leonie Schroder and family - £88.7m

John Bloor - £86.4m

Glenn Gordon and family - £81.6m

Will Adderley and family - £69.8m

The Marshall family - £60.3m

Kathy and John Murphy and family - £59.8m

Peter Kelly - £59.6m

Caspar and Sebastian MacDonald-Hall and family - £59m

The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family - £57.5m

Lord Bamford and family - £54.7m

Henry Moser - £53.8m

Bernard Lewis and family - £52.6m

James and John Martin and family - £50.2m

The Thomson family - £48.6m

Agust and Lydur Gudmundsson - £47.3m

Greg Skinner - £45.6m

Suneil Setiya - £45.6m

Fawn and India Rose James - £44.5m

Malcolm Healey - £42.7m

Nigel Spokes and family - £42.7m

The Lazari family - £40.7m

John Timpson and family - £40.3m

Henry Engelhardt and Diane Briere De L'Isle - £39.7m

Earl Cadogan and family - £38.1m

James Wates and family - £37m

Peter and Fiona Cruddas - £36m

Baroness Howard de Walden and family - £33m

Will Roseff - £32.9m

Mark Samworth and family - £32.3m

Peter Hargreaves - £31.5m

Chris and Sarah Dawson - £30.5m

The Shepherd family - £29.9m

Lord Edmiston - £29.7m

Joe Hemani - £29.2m

Chris Sheppard and family - £29.1m

Andrew Brown - £29.1m

Paul Day and family - £28.1m

Chris Oglesby and family - £27.3m

Sting - £25m

Daren Whitaker - £23.9m

Simon Orange - £23.9m

The Warburton family - £23.8m

Barry and Eddie Hearn and family - £23.4m

Steve Morgan - £23.1m

Surinder Kandola - £22.9m

Douglas and Iain Anderson - £21.5m

Michael Kirkland and family - £21.4m

The Gibbon family - £20.9m

David McMurtry - £20.2m

William Barnett and family - £19.7m

Clinton McCarthy and family - £19.6m

Joanne Conway and family - £19.6m

Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora - £19.5m

Patrick Flannery and family - £19.3m

Mark Coombs - £18.5m

Andrew Vincent - £18.5m

Mark Hunter - £18.5m

The Bailey family - £18.4m

The Tordoff family - £17.4m

Brian and Alan Stannah and family - £17.2m

Douglas Park and family - £16.9m

Martin Hughes - £16.6m

Gordon Sanders - £16.4m

Peter Dawson and family - £15.9m

Freddie Linnett and the Murphy family £15.5m

James Watt - £15.5m

Martin Dickie - £15.2m

JK Rowling - £15m

Karin Mortstedt and family - £15m

Frank Hester - £14.3m

Rupert Martin - £14.2m

Garry Newman - £13.7m

Chrissie Rucker and Nick Wheeler - £13.5m

Tim and Polly Gredley and family - £13.2m

Alastair Campbell and family - £13.1m

Richard Dick and family - £12.4m

Andrew Nisbet and family - £11.6m

Lord Iliffe and family - £11.6m

Douglas Woolf and family - £11.6m

Ben Francis - £11.6m

David Wernick and family - £11.4m

John Coulter and Ann Jones - £11.1m

Martin and Caroline Bell - £11m

Lisa and Tony Wilkinson and family £10.8m

Trevor Senior - £10.7m

Robert Fenwick - £10.7m

Alexander Marr and family - £10.7m