Bernie Ecclestone’s tax troubles puts him near top of unwanted list

Sam Cooper
Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone arrives to court in the UK.

Bernie Ecclestone paid £652.6 million in tax in 2023.

Bernie Ecclestone paid the second highest amount of tax in the UK after he was found to have underpaid in relation to his overseas assets.

The former F1 chief was forced to pay £652.6 million to HMRC after a long-battle regarding his £400 million worth of offshore assets.

That figure puts him second on the list according to The Times, behind only financial trader Alex Gerko.

Bernie Ecclestone one of top paying UK’s tax citizens

Ecclestone appeared in court in October charged with tax fraud and was handed a 17-month suspended sentence as well as the £400 million bill.

That figure came from repaying the unpaid tax and interest as well as a £330 million fine.

He first admitted to wrongdoing in July 2015 when he said he failed to declare £400 million in a Singapore trust fund.

Ecclestone though, maintains that it was an “honest mistake” and insists he has always paid UK tax.

“I have always paid tax in the UK, every year I always have,” he told the Times. “The issue was about the tax I earned overseas that the (UK) taxman thought I should pay UK tax on. It was an honest mistake and I think everyone knew that.”

Ecclestone’s lawyer, Clare Montgomery, successfully argued that the 93-year-old’s “frail” health should see him avoid prison time in what was the biggest settlement of its kind in British history.

All in all this year he’s now had to pay £652.6 million.

Topping the list though, was the Moscow-born trader Alex Gerko who paid £664.5 million to the UK government. The founder of XTX Markets almost doubled his net worth in a year and renounced his Russian citizenship. recommends

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Gerko and Ecclestone paid almost double of any other entry on the list with the Coates family in third. Denise Coates established Bet365 and owns Stoke City Football Club.

Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris’ salary may have earned them a spot on the list but both are residents of Monaco meaning they pay significantly less tax to their home country.

Norris moved to the Principality in 2021 and justified the move by saying “people do many things in life for money.”

“I have to look after my things for my future,” he said. “Of course, I understand that there’s going to be some criticism, but people do many things in life for money.”

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