Windsor is tax dodging capital of England, analysis reveals as experts warn stockbroker belt is ‘littered’ with tax avoidance hotspots
- Windsor and nearby Maidenhead has biggest concentration of tax dodgers
- The area has seen 23 tax-dodging disclosures in every 100,000 residents
- UK average is 7 disclosures of unpaid tax per 100,000 people, experts found
A ‘stockbroker belt’ of wealthy English towns ‘is littered with tax avoidance hotspots’, experts find, as Windsor is dubbed the country’s tax-evading capital.
The well-off home counties are home to wealthy locals with astronomical tax bills, leading to wide-spread tax dodging as they attempt to pay less.
Freedom of information requests revealed Windsor – and nearby Maidenhead – has the biggest concentration of tax dodgers out of all 279 areas of the country.
The area – home to Windsor Castle where the Queen self-isolated during the pandemic – has seen 23 tax-dodging disclosures in every 100,000 residents.
The UK average is seven disclosures of unpaid tax per 100,000 people.
In St Albans – where there is a ‘millionaires’ row’ of astronomically-priced properties – comes in behind Windsor with 20 tax-dodging disclosures per 100,000 locals.
A ‘stockbroker belt’ of wealthy English towns ‘is littered with tax avoidance hotspots’, experts find, as Windsor is dubbed the country’s tax-evading capital
Freedom of information requests revealed Windsor – and nearby Maidenhead – has the biggest concentration of tax dodgers out of all 279 areas of the country
Guildford was next with 17. London, Aberdeen and Redhill were also in the top 20, analysis by accountants UHY Hacker Young – who submitted the FOI requests – found.
Other cities with high concentrations of high earners – such as Oxford, Cambridge and Reading – also feature in the list of top locations with most unpaid tax admissions.
UHY Hacker Young said individuals have become increasingly likely to admit tax avoidance to escape harsh penalties.
Firm partner Sean Glancy 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.’
An HMRC spokesman said: ‘Most tax avoidance schemes simply do not work and those who engage in them can find that they pay more than the tax they attempted to avoid once HMRC has successfully challenged them.
‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.’
The HMRC say tax avoidance involves ‘bending the rules of the tax system to gain a tax advantage that Parliament never intended’.
If caught evading tax, the HMRC would order the evader to pay back what they owe and could levy enormous fines – which would come along with any legal costs incurred from a court appearance.
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