High earners pay UK salary equivalent in tax in just days

The latest research by finance experts, RIFT Tax Refunds, has revealed that the nation’s high earners will have paid more in tax by the end of this month than the average person earns in a year, with the very highest doing so in the space of a day. 

RIFT Tax Refunds analysed the average annual gross salary of five high earning job roles, the tax owed on these top end earnings and what this equates to in terms of tax paid per day. RIFT Tax Refunds then looked at how many days it takes each high earner before the tax paid on their salary surpasses the annual gross salary earned by the average UK person. 

The latest data shows that the average UK person earns a gross income of £33,402 per year, paying £6,666 in both tax and national insurance contributions. 

This is a world away from the annual gross salary of a FTSE 100 CEO, who takes home an average of £3.41m per year. With an eye-watering tax bill of £1.591m per year, a FTSE 100 CEO will pay £30,600 towards tax and national insurance in a single week, equating to £4,371 in tax paid per day.  


As a result, the tax paid on their salary alone will surpass the average UK gross income of £33,402 in just eight days. 

The average Premier League footballer will pay more tax in just 11 days than most of us earn outright in a year, while it takes between two and five weeks for a law firm partner (13 days), a partner at a ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm (29 days) and a senior banker (33 days) to do the same. 

Perhaps the most publicised high earner is ‘Britain’s best paid woman’, founder of Bet365, Denise Coats.


With her average salary alone sitting at a cool £213m, she contributes the equivalent of the average UK gross income in tax in less than a day (0.12). 

CEO of RIFT Tax Refunds, Bradley Post, commented: 

“Paying our fair share is just part and parcel of living and working within society but that doesn’t make the thought of paying tax on our hard earned income any less painful. 


What’s perhaps less easy to stomach is that the nation’s high earners will contribute the average person’s entire annual pay packet in tax over the period of just a few short weeks. 

Of course, the truth of the matter is that those at the very top of the wealth pile have the financial means to employ the very best when it comes to creative accountancy, within the boundaries of legality, of course. 

But while it’s impossible to tell exactly what they do contribute, it’s certain to be considerably more than most.”


You can view the full data tables online here.

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