Coates and Done families named as UK’s top tax payers

The Coates and Done families, two gambling dynasties, have featured in the top-three of ‘The Sunday Times 2021 Tax List’, which tracks vital contributions of the super-rich during a critical period for the UK Treasury.

For the second year in a row, Denise, John and Peter Coates – the founding family of bet365 – topped the Sunday Times tax list after reportedly paying more than half a billion pounds (£573 million) during the tax year of 2019/2020.

With an estimated wealth of £7.2 billion predominantly generated by the bet365 business, the reported tax liability of the Coates family is equivalent to paying 63,000 state pensions per year.

A notoriously private family, the Coates are also recognised amongst the UK’s highest individual doners, having directly contributed £10 million to the NHS Midlands Trust during the start of the pandemic.

Recognised as the tax list’s highest climbers, Fred and Peter Done joined the Coates family at the top echelon of the Sunday Times taxpayer index.

The Salford-born brothers jumped from 22nd to third place having seen the tax combined takings of Betfred and businesses services firm Peninsula Group increase from £45 million to £191 million during 2019/2020.

Compiling its list, The Sunday Times stated that it had changed methodologies by including gambling duties paid by businesses during the 2019/2020 tax year.

The Coates and Done families were among just 17 business owners who paid more taxes during 2019/2020, which the newspaper said reflected the economic downturn and investor unease at UK business conditions prior to the pandemic.

In its research, The Sunday Times highlighted concerns that “last year you needed to have paid £20.4 million of tax to make it onto the list, while this year that entry-level has plummeted to £13.1 million, down nearly 36 per cent.”

“These worrying numbers show the tax take from many of Britain’s super-rich has fallen sharply – largely because their businesses have seen a downturn,” remarked Robert Watts, lead compiler of The Sunday Times tax list.

“These numbers illustrate that when some wealthy people prosper our public finances do feel a benefit. After the pandemic has passed the Chancellor will need to maximise income from these individuals without driving them or their businesses away from the UK.”

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