JK Rowling, former Rangers chairman and Ed Sheeran on top tax payers list

The Sunday Times tax list reveals the top 100 contributors who paid £5.35bn to the public pocket.

JK Rowling, former Rangers chairman and Ed Sheeran on top tax payers list SNS Group/Getty Images

Harry Potter author JK Rowling, a former Rangers chairman and a Scottish billionaire behind a whisky empire are among some of the UK’s biggest tax payers.

The writer who lives in Edinburgh joined singer Ed Sheeran on a list of the country’s 100 highest tax payers for 2023 contributing £5.35bn to the public pocket.

According to the Sunday Times, Rowling paid around £40m while Sheeran shelved out around £39.6m.

The list includes individuals or families who have paid at least £10m in tax – which includes corporation tax, dividend tax, capital gains tax, income tax and employer’s national insurance tax.

Alex Gerko, a financial trader who renounced his Russian citizenship, sits at the top of the rankings having paid £664.5m for the year.

Bernie Ecclestone, former chief executive of the Formula One Group, who paid more than £650m in a fraud settlement, came in at number two on the list.

Lady Philomena Clark, widow of Scottish car dealer billionaire Arnold Clark, and her family made the top 15 having paid £78.3m, down from the previous year.

Sir Tim Martin, owner of JD Wetherspoon, paid out £167.1m while Scottish billionaire Glenn Gordon and family, chairman of William Grant & Sons, that create Glenfiddich and Drambuie whisky paid out £74.3million.

Douglas Park, former chairman of Rangers, who owns Park’s of Hamilton private coach hire paid out £18m, which is up from the previous tax year.

Rangers chairman Douglas Park stepped down from his role at the club in April, 2023. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Owners of Glasgow-based Gap Group, the UK’s largest independent hire company, Douglas and Iain Anderson paid out £19m and are 61st on the list.

The Denholm Group, a Glasgow-based shipping empire, through John Denholm and family paid £14.7m.

David Moulsdale, whose father was said to be a Glasgow taxi driver, the owner of Optical Express with a headquarters in Cumbernauld is a new entry to the list paying out £12.4m.

Heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, who owns a company that posted a turnover of £129m, paid £12.4m and is placed at number 89 on the list.

Figures show around 68 of the 100 individuals and families who appeared on the 2023 list were found to have contributed less in taxes this year.

Ten individuals and families on the list come from Scotland in total.

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