Surrey’s stockbroker belt is UK income tax hotspot

The ‘stockbroker belt’ dominates the ranking of the UK’s top ten towns with the biggest income tax bills, with taxpayers in these areas paying triple the UK average, according to research by UHY Hacker Young

The firm’s analysis found Esher & Walton in Surrey came first out of 578 constituencies in the UK, with individuals paying an average of £20,600 in income tax last year, or 28% of their earnings.

The town is a wealthy London suburb, with average property prices reaching £1m last year. The area has attracted a number of high-profile individuals, with residents over recent years including Frank Lampard, Andy Murray, Antonio Banderas and Chris Tarrant.

‘Stockbroker belt’ towns tend to be popular amongst highly paid workers in the financial services and professional services sectors, who require quick transport links to central London. The area’s proximity to main airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick is also a key attraction.

UHY Hacker Young says individuals in the top ten tax towns now pay an average of £14,320 in income tax, a 20% increase from £11,911 five years ago. This is almost triple the amount of tax paid on average across the UK last year, which stands at £4,726.

Other towns on the list include Windsor, which has the highest number of multi-millionaires per capita in the UK, and the upmarket Chilterns market town of Beaconsfield, formerly home to TV presenter James Corden and Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean.

The archetypal commuter towns of Sevenoaks in Kent and Guildford in Surrey also feature in the top ten.

In contrast the constituency where individuals pay the lowest level of income tax on average is Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, at an average of £2,180 or 10% of earnings. Areas that feature in the bottom ten for income tax paid also include Birmingham, Hodge Hill, Bolton South East and Nottingham North.

Neela Chauhan, tax partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: ‘Esher’s popularity amongst celebrities and High Net Worth individuals has earned it the nickname “Britain’s Beverly Hills”. The area’s wealth and high average incomes means its position as the town paying the most income tax looks secure for years to come.

‘It seems likely that high earners may face even higher tax bills in the future – hikes to income tax may be looked at to help pay for coronavirus spending.’

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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