Britain's highest earners are shouldering an increasing share of the UK's income tax burden, as coalition government policies take more people out of paying the tax, according to figures released by HMRC.
The number of people liable for higher (40%) or top-rate (50%) tax is expected to jump from 3.25m in 2010-11 to 4.13m, or 13.8% of taxpayers, this year, based on HMRC figures analysed by The Sunday Times. Their share of the total tax bill will jump from 54.2% to 61.3%.
Overall, taxpayer numbers are expected to decline by 1.4m to 29.9m this year as a result of the coalition's policy to raise the personal allowance for basic-rate payers.
According to the figures, the top-earning 1% of the population - amounting to just 299,000 individuals earning more than £150k annually - will pay about £42bn in income tax this year, or 26.5% of the total.
The figures also show that an elite band of just 4,000 taxpayers earning more than £2m will pay a huge £7bn in income tax this year, or 4.4% of the total.
Mike Warburton, of accountants Grant Thornton, was quoted in the Sunday Times: "The increase in personal allowances has taken about 1.4m out of tax but the number of higher and additional rate taxpayers is jumping by 900,000, so the richest are paying an increasing share of the tax burden.
"In a sense, this is what the government wants to achieve but the extent is surprising."
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