JD Sports & Primark owners, Mike Ashley among list of biggest tax payers

Digital Services Tax
// Sunday Times’ inaugural list of UK’s biggest tax payers includes prominent retail figures
// JD Sports majority owner Stephen Rubin tops list
// Owners of Selfridges & Primark also make the top 10
// Other notable names on the list: Mike Ashley, Julian Dunkerton, Philip Day

The families that own JD Sports, Primark and Selfridges, along with retail tycoon Mike Ashley, have all been named among those who paid the most tax in the UK last year.

According to The Sunday Times’ inaugural tax list for the 2017/18 financial year, Stephen Rubin – who owns a majority stake in JD Sports – was and his family came out on top as the UK’s top taxpayers.

Rubin was reportedly liable for £181.6 million last year.

Meanwhile the Weston family, whose empire includes Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Primark, came in at number 9 on the list after they paid £76 million for the period.

The next big retailer on the tax list is Tom Morris and family, the owners of the Home Bargains discount chain. They were liable for £39.2 million and were ranked 11th.

Meanwhile, Sports Direct founder and chief executive Mike Ashley paid £30.4 million in taxes last year and was ranked 20th overall.

The Arora family behind B&M Stores are also on the inaugural tax list, ranking 24th after paying £25.6 million in taxes.

Finally, Julian Dunkerton, the co-founder of Superdry who has been trying to make a comeback after stepping down from the fashion retailer’s board last year, came in at 29th with £23.4 million in taxes, and Edinburgh Woollen Mill group owner Philip Day was ranked 39th with liabilities of £17.7 million.

Other notable names on the list includes Sir James Dyson, who recently announced plans to move his company’s headquarters to Asia. He was ranked third with £127.8 million.

The Beckhams, which the Sunday Times said paid £12.7 million in tax, are another notable inclusion, along with the Grosvenor and Cadogan families – both of which own vast amounts of retail property.

Robert Watts, who compiles the Tax List and The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “It’s hard to deny that the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and other high-profile scandals have given the impression that none of Britain’s wealthy elite contribute a penny to our public finances.

“But our inaugural Sunday Times Tax List shows which of the super-rich are contributing many of millions of pounds a year.

“These are large sums of money – the size that do not merely pay for a nurse, but pay to build the hospital in which they work.”

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