Harry Potter writer JK Rowling and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley among UK’s top taxpayers

Written by on 26/01/2020

The founder of Bet365 has been named as Britain’s top taxpayer, while high street tycoon Mike Ashley and Harry Potter writer JK Rowling are also ranked among the biggest contributors.

Other well-known names liable for tens of millions of pounds in tax last year included Wetherspoons owner Tim Martin, the family behind baking company Warburtons, and the Duke of Westminster.

The figures are reported in the 2020 edition of The Sunday Times Tax List, which found the top 50 taxpayers were liable for a whopping £2.5bn between them in 2018-19.

Below are the top 10 – plus the best of the rest.

And here are a few names from lower down the list who you will probably recognise…

13. Mike Ashley (£54.8m)

The billionaire retail entrepreneur is the chief executive of Sports Direct and added struggling House of Fraser to his portfolio back in November 2018, but is perhaps best known for his unpopular ownership of Newcastle United.

19. JK Rowling (£48.6m)

The Harry Potter author paid tax on almost all of about £100m of royalties and other earnings through self assessment, plus another £1.6m in business tax for Pottermore – the online home of her wizarding works.

33. Tim Martin (£29.9m)

The outspoken Brexiteer has had a busy year working on plans for his pub chain to celebrate Britain leaving the EU, including cutting prices on European drinks and committing to the creation of thousands of new jobs.

38. The Clark family (£27.5m)

As the name behind shoe shop Clarks, which was founded almost two centuries ago, the Clark family have long been a staple of the high street and still own 84% of the business.

39. The Warburton family (£26.3m)

Warburtons flexed its financial muscle last year for a memorable advertising campaign starring Robert De Niro and the family who run the popular baker are tied with the Thomson family on the tax list.

(c) Sky News 2020: Harry Potter writer JK Rowling and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley among UK’s top taxpayers


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