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New survey reveals the country's highest average tax bills

Residents of Tonbridge and Malling pay an average of £7,000 income tax a year, the ninth highest figure in the UK, according to a survey.

This is 59% higher than the UK average of £4,398, says UHY Hacker Young, an accounting firm with offices in Sittingbourne.

By contrast, residents in Maidstone and Medway have the 23rd and 55th highest average tax bills respectively.

Student finances are often tight
Student finances are often tight

UHY Hacker Young claims that high income tax payments in Tonbridge and Malling are down to the borough’s proximity to London, and an attractive country setting which is a magnet for many commuters with high-paid jobs in the City.

UHY Hacker Young adds that the latest income tax statistics show that the UK is increasingly reliant on a handful of wealthy towns for income tax revenue.

The district with the highest average payers is Elmbridge in Surrey (£16,100), the home to Russian oligarchs, entertainers, and Premiership footballers.

The next highest tax paying areas are St Albans (£10,900), Windsor and Maidenhead (£10,200), Guildford (£9,830) and London (£8,580).

Allan Hickie, Sittingbourne-based partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “Tonbridge is a key community base of City workers, and it is also the home to a growing financial services sector in its own right.

'A large number of high paid residents are keeping Kent residents’ tax payments amongst the highest in the UK'

“There is a growing regional mismatch within the UK, with wealth and tax bills becoming concentrated within a handful of cities, suburbs or towns like Tonbridge, where residents subsidise the tax payments from other towns.”

UHY Hacker Young adds that when total tax payments by area are considered, Tonbridge and Malling is among the 40 highest paying areas in the UK, shelling out much more tax than far bigger cities like Newcastle, Leicester, and Nottingham.

Maidstone and the Medway towns have total tax payments of £400m and £480m respectively.

Tonbridge and Malling residents paid a total of £447m in the last year, more than the total income tax payments of residents Newcastle (£443m), Nottingham (£372m) and Leicester (£351m).

Mr Hickie added: “Governments have attempted to boost the attractiveness of other regions in the UK to top earners, even encouraging some public sector organisations to relocate to different parts of the UK. However, the pull of the South East, culturally, politically, and financially is still very strong for the highest earners.”

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