Commuter belt pays most income tax

Tax league table reveals highest and lowest paying towns


AAG5DM Traffic jam on dual carriageway A3 Surrey UK

The Surrey district of Elmbridge, covering the wealthy towns of Esher, Weybridge and Walton on Thames, is the highest-paying area in Britain when it comes to income tax.

Taxpayers in Elmbridge - nicknamed the 'Beverly Hills' of Britain - are handing an average of £16,600 to the taxman each year, up 3.1% rise on last year. They are paying nearly twice as much income tax per taxpayer as in London, and over three times the average for the UK, according to accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young.

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The average is boosted by a number of famous residents, including Andy Murray, Sir Elton John and several Chelsea Football Club players who train at nearby Cobham. The late Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, lived here and the Sultan of Oman is rumoured to own property nearby.

"The huge income tax payments from households in the Elmbridge area indicate the desirability of the area among the super-rich," says Mark Giddens, UHY Hacker Young's head of private client services.
"With many sports and entertainment stars living in the area, both income and the resulting tax bills from HMRC are sky-high and increasing."

But residents of the south-east in general are paying much more income tax than the average, with London's stockbroker belt accounting for 28 of the 30 highest-paying districts. South Buckinghamshire - particularly Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross - is second on the list, with an average income tax bill of £13,600 per year. Chiltern is third, with an average bill of £12,700, and Sevenoaks in Kent and Waverley in Surrey round out the top five.

"The government is increasingly reliant on the wealthiest parts of the South Eastern commuter belt and London for income," says Giddens.

"The government has gradually increased the tax burden on high earners since the credit crunch. Higher taxation of wealthy individuals in the South East has proven to be an effective means to boost tax receipts, but these numbers will not make for pleasant reading for those affected."

At the other end of the scale, Blackpool (last out of 401 areas) residents make the lowest average income tax payments of the 401 British districts, with average payments of £2,290 a year - down 4.6% on last year. Blaenau Gwent, in South Wales, is second from bottom with average bills of £2,460, followed by Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire at £2,470.

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Top 10
Average tax
Elmbridge £16,600
South Buckinghamshire £13,600
Chiltern £12,700
Sevenoaks £11,600
Waverley £11,500
St Albans £11,400
Windsor and Maidenhead £11,100
Guildford £10,200
Tandridge £10,100
Mole Valley £9,470

At the other end of the tax league table, those who live in Blackpool pay the least income tax out of all the 401 regions at £2,290 a year. Blaenau Gwent, in South Wales, is second from bottom (£2,460), followed by Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire (£2,470).

Bottom 10
Region Average tax

Blackpool £2,710
Blaenau Gwent £2,630
Kingston upon Hull £2,610
Strabane (Northern Ireland) £2,610
Burnley £2,580
Stoke-on-Trent £2,580
Ashfield (West Notts) £2,540
Sandwell (West Bromwich) £2,470
Hyndburn (Accrington) £2,460
Torbay £2,290

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