Roman Abramovich has paid £1.75 billion in tax in the UK over the past 20 years, his lawyers claim.
Representatives of the former owner of Chelsea football club say he and his businesses paid more than £41 million in 2019-20 alone in corporation tax, stamp duty and employer’s national insurance contributions.
“This places Abramovich among the top 25 tax contributors in that year,” they argue.
The revelations appear in legal submissions to the EU in which the Russian oligarch, 55, claims sanctions against him are discriminatory, disproportionate and based on false allegations about his closeness to President Putin. It is thought similar submissions have been made to the UK government.
Abramovich argues that he pays more tax in Britain and the EU than he does in Russia and that he should not be considered a leading contributor to the Russian state or a supporter of Putin’s policy in Ukraine.
The billionaire’s Belgian lawyers say that he has invested £2 billion of private funds in Britain, that his family office is in London and that he used to employ almost 1,000 people at Chelsea FC and other businesses.
Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Tax List, said: “These numbers would place him firmly on the list of the top 50 taxpayers, but we’ve never had this kind of transparency from him before.”
Abramovich’s fortune has halved — from an estimated £12 billion to £6 billion — since the invasion of Ukraine, notably because of the fall in value of the steelmaker Evraz, in which he is the major shareholder.
Brussels imposed sanctions on the oligarch in March, saying he had “long and close ties to Vladimir Putin” and “privileged access to the president”.
It said his connection with Putin “helped him to maintain his considerable wealth” and his businesses benefited from Russian aggression and were a big source of revenue for the Kremlin. But the oligarch’s lawyers say the EU is relying on “false and unfounded declarations”…
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