From JK Rowling to Ed Sheeran, the UK’s top taxpayers have been revealed

The UK is a small country, but we have many big stars who pay over £10million in taxes.

UK tax payers
© Dave J Hogan / GETTYIMAGES
UK tax payers

Taxes are never a fun subject - we’ve already warned you about the hefty fine you could face if you fail to file them before 31 January, and explained the welcome difference in council tax over February and March. However, our curiosity peaked when we discovered that there’s a list of the UK’s top taxpayers published by the Sunday Times.

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The list includes 100 wealthy individuals or families who were liable for a total of £5.353billion UK tax last year. The ways in which they made their fortunes vary widely, and include financial trading, F1, and gambling. Harry Potter author JK Rowling and singer Ed Sheeran also appear on the list.

Top taxpayers in the UK

For the second year in a row, Alex Gerko came in first as the highest taxpayer in the UK. The Moscow-born billionaire founded the massively successful trading company XTX Markets in 2015. He was liable for £664.5million in tax, which is the equivalent of - wait for it - £75,000 an hour.

FI tycoon Bernie Ecclestone came in second with a total of £652.6million, with gambling empress Denise Coates and her family coming in at third at £375.9m. Coates, who is Britain’s richest woman, just piqued her gambling competitors, Fred and Peter Done and family, to the post. The Dones came in fourth with £204.6m.

JK Rowling and Ed Sheeran

The entertainers on the list earned a little less and therefore paid lower taxes. JK Rowling, famed for her writing and controversial remarks, came in 31st. This year, with another Fantastic Beasts film and computer game, brought her a solid chunk of income that ended up being taxed around £40million.

The busker-turned-superstar Ed Sheeran came right after JK Rowling at 32nd on the list. Having received a big payout of £62million from Hayagotatourboi, the company that gets his box office takings, the singer had to stump up a considerable £36million in UK tax.

Many of these wealthy individuals actually paid less this year than last year. Though this is usually because their companies and businesses made less money, the compiler of this list has warned the decrease may spark a certain reaction. Robert Watts, who wrote The Sunday Times Tax List, explained that ‘lower tax receipts from the UK’s richest people may raise more than the odd eyebrow at a time when the public finances remain stretched and there is talk of budget giveaways in the air’.

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Sources used:

Mirror: Britain's top 10 taxpayers revealed - and how much Ed Sheeran and JK Rowling pay

The Sunday Times: The Tax List 2024: the UK’s 100 biggest taxpayers revealed

Here’s a look at the UK’s politicians and their partners Here’s a look at the UK’s politicians and their partners