A Russian-born businessman has been named Britain’s biggest taxpayer, with an eye-watering estimated bill.
It isn’t the billionaire’s first time on the list either, with the reclusive entrepreneur coming in first place for a second year in a row.
The man in question – Alexander Gerko, who became a British citizen in 2016 – topped the 2023 list thanks to his robot trading firm XTX Markets which has helped him gain a $5 billion fortune.
The 43-year-old business mogul forked out a staggering £487.4 million.
“This was a man who could have been one of Russia’s greatest wealth creators — instead he is creating jobs and paying his tax here,” said Robert Watts, who compiled the list.
“Enticing the super-rich to London doesn’t always pay dividends for the public finances. In his case it certainly has,” he added.
Gerko’s life story has been dubbed ‘extraordinary’ by the journalist, with the Russian entrepreneur leaving his homeland to pursue a career in finance after graduating with a maths degree from the prestigious Moscow State University.
His story is even more incredible given that the 100 individuals on the Sunday Times list have all paid £107 million in tax, with the top 10 payers handing over an estimated £2.3 billion to the taxman.
Despite his huge fortune, the businessman has also remained generous, filling the XTX Markets office with arcade games and a copy of the Apollo 11 capsule for staff to use.
Gerko has also been highly critical of Russia, with the businessman renouncing his citizenship at the end of 2022 in light of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement made last year, XTX announced that it ‘fully support(s) the Ukrainian people’.
Gerko later committed over £1 million to fund a new maths research centre, which will be built in Kyiv or Lviv.
He told press: “The International Centre for Mathematics will help Ukrainian researchers to collaborate with the rest of the world and share the country’s outstanding tradition in mathematics… We look forward to the Centre opening its doors soon, in a free and peaceful Ukraine.”
Also among the big players on the list are Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin, who forked out an estimated £123.2 million and Tax List regular JK Rowling, who contributed £15 million.
Here are the top ten taxpayers in the UK:
- Russian-born trader Alex Gerko paid £487.4 million
- The Coates family, who own gambling site Bet365, paid £460.2 million
- Berghaus owner Stephen Rubin paid £392.3 million
- Hedge-fund investor Sir Chris Hohn paid £263 million
- The Done family, who own BetFred, paid £136.8 million
- Sports Direct and Jack Wills tycoon Mike Ashley paid £133.5 million
- Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin paid £123.2 million
- The Boparan family, who own Giraffe and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, paid £120.7 million
- Home Bargains and richest ever Liverpudlian Tom Morris paid £112.2 million
- Luxury hoteliers Ian and Richard Livingston paid £104 million