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Are you in an income tax hotspot? New research reveals the 10 areas that pay the highest income tax

2-minute read

Sam Bromley

Sam Bromley

14 November 2019

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New research released ahead of the 31 January Self Assessment deadline reveals the 10 areas that pay the highest income tax.

Accountancy group UHY Hacker Young studied 579 towns and cities across the UK to build a list of the regions where people pay the most tax on their earnings.

The firm calculated income tax as a percentage of income and found that out of the top 10 areas, nine were in the UK’s ‘stockbroker belt’. These are the towns and cities just outside London where City workers relocate to get away from living in the capital.

Areas in Surrey dominate, but the capital itself only comes 23rd in the list. Here’s the top 10.

The UK’s top 10 income tax hotspots


Average income tax paid per person

Tax as a % of income

Esher and Walton









Hitchin and Harpenden



Chesham and Amersham






South West Hertfordshire



Mole Valley



Runnymede and Weybridge



Altrincham and Sale West



All of these towns are in the South East, barring Altrincham and Sale West outside Manchester.

Esher in Surrey is dubbed Britain’s ‘Beverly Hills’ and is home to famous faces like Elton John, Gary Lineker and Andy Murray, according to City A.M.

Accountancy Daily points out that Altrincham is home to sporting stars too, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Peter Crouch and Rio Ferdinand.

The 10 areas that pay the least income tax

London only came 23rd in the list, likely because the wealthiest people working in the capital actually live on its outskirts. The average income per person there is £46,900 and the average amount of income tax paid is £10,400.

Here are the 10 areas that pay the least income tax:

  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Rhondda
  • Leicester East
  • Walsall North
  • Birmingham, Hodge Hill
  • Kingston upon Hull
  • Belfast West
  • Bolton South East
  • Wolverhampton South East
  • Nottingham North

The average amount of income tax paid per person in Nottingham North is £2,080, while the average income per person there is £21,700.

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Getting ready for Self Assessment?

The self-employed pay income tax through their annual Self Assessment tax return. The deadline for completing your return is fast approaching and HMRC is encouraging people to complete their tax return sooner rather than later.

The first deadline is 30 December, but that one’s only relevant if you want your Self Assessment tax to be collected through PAYE via your tax code. You can only do that if you have some income that’s already taxed through PAYE (basically meaning you’re employed as well as self-employed) and if your Self Assessment tax bill for 2018-19 is below £3,000.

But the deadline most people will need to worry about is 31 January – the date you need to file your online return by and pay your tax bill.

Get lots more information on Self Assessment over on our tax hub.

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Sam Bromley

Written by

Sam Bromley

Sam has more than 10 years of experience in writing for financial services. He specialises in illuminating complicated topics, from IR35 to ISAs, and identifying emerging trends that audiences want to know about. Sam spent five years at Simply Business, where he was Senior Copywriter.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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