Tax Stephen Rubin, owner of JD Sports, paid most tax in UK last year with £181m bill
Bet365 tycoons are second, Sir James Dyson is third and the Beckhams also feature in Sunday Times list
Stephen Rubin, the majority owner of JD Sports, has been revealed as Britain’s highest taxpayer in a list that also includes Sir James Dyson, Mike Ashley and the Beckham family.
Rubin paid £181.6m in taxes in 2017-18, according to a study by the Sunday Times (£), with Denise, John and Peter Coates, owners of bet365, second on the list with a £156m tax bill.
Sir James Dyson, who recently announced plans to move his company’s headquarters to Asia, was third on the top 50 list with £127.8m.
Mike Ashley, founder of Sports Direct, paid £30.4m in taxes last year and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of the Ineos group and the man who topped the Sunday Times rich list in 2018, was liable for £110.5m.
Britain's richest person to leave UK for tax-free Monaco
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Easyjet, paid £20.7m, the Warburton baking family were billed for £14.5m, and the Arora family, which is behind B&M Stores, were liable for £25.6m.
Robert Watts, who compiles the tax 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.”
The Beckhams, who the paper said paid £12.7m in tax due from their dividends and other levies in the accounts of their two principal companies, are a notable inclusion.
The couple were named on Companies House files as being linked to the finance firm Ingenious, which invested in films including Avatar, in a bid to secure tax relief.
It has previously been reported the former Manchester United and England footballer was overlooked for a knighthood because of this investment, which has been subjected to scrutiny by HMRC.
The taxman argued the Ingenious scheme was not a legitimate investment opportunity but rather a means of avoiding tax, with a decision upheld that the incentives were not “allowable deductions”. It has not been claimed Ingenious or investors were doing anything illegal.
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