The UK towns paying the most and least income tax have been revealed, with nine out of the ten paying the highest levels found in the Stockbroker Belt in the south-east of the country.
This region is popular for well-heeled high net worth individuals and commuters because of the proximity to both London and main airports. The UHY Hacker Young study, which looked at 579 towns and cities around the UK, found that people living in Esher, Surrey paid the highest rate of income tax as a percentage of their income – an average of 28 per cent of their £68,000 in earnings.
Esher, which is home to Gary Lineker, Elton John and Andy Murray, to name but a few, is also known as Britain’s Beverly Hills, so it is perhaps unsurprising that it has come top of the list where high rates of income tax are concerned.
Tax partner with the firm Neela Chauhan said: “The south-east has cemented its position as one of the most affluent areas in the UK. This is likely to continue for years to come as Stockbroker Belt towns attract high earning celebrities and City workers alike.”
“However, the government needs to be careful not to kill this golden goose by overtaxing it. We have seen signs in some areas, such as non-doms [non-domiciled residents], that higher levels of tax is gradually driving high earners out of the country.”
The only constituency in the top ten found outside the south-east was Altrincham in Greater Manchester, home to premiership footballers and managers including Rio Ferdinand, Peter Crouch and Sir Alex Ferguson. Residents in the town pay £12,600 in income tax or 24 per cent of their annual income.
Towns paying the lowest level of income tax can mostly be found in the north of England, with the top five made up of Blaenau Gwent, Rhondda, Leicester East, Walsall North and Birmingham Hodge Hill.
No one particularly enjoys paying income tax but there are ways in which you could reduce the amount you have to pay, such as by reviewing your tax code and making sure it’s correct. If you’re on the wrong code, it could be that you’re entitled to pay less tax in the future or even receive a rebate for tax paid in the past.
Paying into a pension scheme can also help you save on tax, as contributions can be made from gross pay before tax is charged. The government will also use tax reliefs to build up pensions, helping you to save for retirement.
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