Revealed: UK areas with highest levels of tax avoidance admittance

News Team, 02/09/2020

Windsor has the highest concentration of people admitting tax avoidance in the UK, accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young has claimed.

In Windsor there were 23 disclosures to HMRC of unpaid tax per 100,000 population in the year ended 31 March 2020.

This is the highest number of disclosures in all 279 areas of the country, with the UK average standing at seven disclosures per 100,000 people.

Affluent towns in the Home Counties and the ‘stockbroker belt’, dominate the top 20 areas with the most tax disclosures.

St Albans, with 20 disclosures per 100,000 people came in second, while Guildford (17) was third. London came in fourth place, also with 17 disclosures per 100,000. However, in total numbers, the capital had by far the highest admissions at 1454.

HMRC has targeted contractors working in the Oil & Gas sector in Aberdeen, leading to it being ranked fifth, and IT contractors in Reading, which ranked eighth.

Other prosperous cities with high concentrations of high earners also feature in the 20 locations with the most unpaid tax admissions, including Cambridge (9th), Exeter (11th) and Oxford (12th).

Greater awareness of the potential penalties for not paying the correct amount of tax among self-employed contractors may have also led to more people coming forward, UHY Hacker Young suggested.

This has led individuals to be more likely to admit tax avoidance to escape HMRC’s penalties.

Sean Glancy, London VAT partner at the firm, said: “The stockbroker belt is littered with tax avoidance hotspots.”

“The Home Counties is home to many high net worth individuals and well-paid city commuters. These are the groups most likely to have the highest income tax bills – leading to greater incentives to find ways to reduce payments.”

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