Sunday 27 January 2019 5:27 pm

JD Sports owner heads list of the UK’s top 50 taxpayers

Financiers, hedge fund managers and housebuilders dominated a new list revealing the UK’s biggest taxpayers, published on Sunday.

The Sunday Times tax list, which also includes high profile names such as David and Victoria Beckham, estimates the amount of tax paid to HMRC by the UK’s wealthiest people based on publicly available information.

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The list was topped by Stephen Rubin, whose tax liability for tax year 2017-18 was an estimated £181.6m, just less than £500,000 a day. Rubin, whose family owns a majority stake in sportswear retailer JD Sports, is worth an estimated £2.8bn.

Denise Coates, founder of gambling firm Bet 365, was second in the list together with her father Peter and John, her brother. The trio paid an estimated £156m in tax last year as Denise took home an estimated salary of £220m.

Prominent Brexiters Sir James Dyson and Sir Jim Ratcliffe also featured in the top five.

Dyson hit the headlines last week following the announcement that his company would relocate its headquarters to Singapore. Ratcliffe, owner of chemicals giant Ineos, is estimated to be worth more than £21bn and was named the UK’s richest man on last year’s Sunday Times rich list.

Hedge fund stars Sir Chris Hohn, Ross Turner and David Harding all made the list, as did a number of construction heavyweights including Redrow shareholder Steve Morgan and Berkeley boss Tony Pidgley, who each racked up a bill of more than £20m. Pidgley is one of a number of “rags-to-riches” stories on the list having spent part of his childhood living in a disused train carriage.

Peter Cruddas, who founded spreadbetting giant CMC after beginning his career as a telex operator, was 48th on the list, one place above the Beckhams.

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Retailer Mike Ashley and aviation boss Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou were among the other well-known business personalities hit with large tax bills. Ashley has courted controversy in recent months through his high street investments in House of Fraser and Debenhams, where he recently ousted chairman Sir Ian Cheshire. He is currently negotiating a potential rescue deal for music retailer HMV. 

Notable absentees from the list included Monaco-resident formula one driver Lewis Hamilton, who earns a reported £40m a year from Mercedes plus commercial endorsements and musician Ed Sheeran, whose estimated tax bill of £11.7m placed him just outside the top 50 taxpayers.