UK's 'top tax hotspot' revealed

Residents living in the Esher and Walton constituency have seen average income tax bills jump by 8% in a year


Celebrity neighbours and commuter links to the City of London have made Esher in Surrey the UK's number one income tax hotspot, research shows.

Residents living in the Esher and Walton constituency - home to Frank Lampard, Gary Lineker, Mick Hucknall and Chris Tarrant - have seen average income tax bills jump by 8% in a year.

They paid the most income tax in 2012/13 with bills averaging £16,900, up from £15,700 the year before and almost four times the national average of £4,363, a study by the UHY Hacker Young accountancy group found.

Like Esher, the other top five highest income tax-paying constituencies - Chesham and Amersham, Windsor, Beaconsfield, and Dorking & Leatherhead - are all in the Home Counties and within an hour's commute from London.

Only one of the top ten highest income-taxed parliamentary constituencies - Tatton in Cheshire - is outside the South East.

Covering Alderley Edge, Wilmslow and Knutsford, the area is another celebrity favourite, attracting famous residents such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Rio Ferdinand and Andy Cole.

Stoke-on-Trent Central had the lowest bills with £2,100 - eight times lower than those in Esher and less than half the national average.

The average annual income in Esher is £59,600, compared to an average UK gross annual salary of £27,200.

Its highly regarded American School and other international colleges attract a large contingent of high earning US bankers and executives.

Expats and non-doms are also drawn to the area for its proximity to Heathrow Airport.

Mark Giddens, head of private client services at UHY Hacker Young, says: "The combination of a relatively high density of high earning celebrities and easy transport links to the City of London for those working in financial services, mean that many parliamentary constituencies across the South East, and Esher in particular, are a real hotspot for the taxman.

"With the tax rate at 45% for the highest earners, pockets are clearly being created - mainly, but not solely, around the capital - where income tax bills are far outstripping the national average.

"In an election year, this could well be a delicate area for political candidates in those areas to navigate. Whether residents of Esher will relish the title of most highly income-taxed area of Britain is doubtful.

"While several well-known entertainment, sporting and business names have been criticised for their much-publicised use of tax avoidance schemes, overall, the contribution made by these wealthy individuals to the Exchequer is still going a long way towards pushing up tax receipts."

Celebrities caught out by a tax bill

Celebrities caught out by a tax bill

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