A BUSINESSMAN who grew up in Wiveliscombe and was educated at Taunton School has been revealed as one of the UK's top taxpayers.

Billionaire Peter Kelly, 65, put £56.9million into the nation's coffers in just 12 months, according to the Sunday Times Tax List 2023 - that's more than £1million a week.

That puts GP's son Mr Kelly 20th on the list of people paying the most tax, keeping the exalted company of big names such as sports and fashion retailer Mike Ashley, Wetherspoon owner Tim Martin and inventor Sir James Dyson.

Mr Kelly appeared in 168th place in The Sunday Times Rich List of the most wealthy people living in the UK published in June last year, when his fortune had reportedly hit £1.065billion

That put him just behind Lord Rothschild and family, who had a wealth of £1.083billion, and Lord Sugar, who boasted £1.088 billion.

He came ahead of ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and wife Nancy Shevell, who were in 198th place with £865million to their names and Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who was 202nd with a net worth of £850million.

Mr Kelly earned his fortune through IT company Softcat, which he founded in 1993.

It started out as a software catalogue he is said to have run from his garden shed to get the business off the ground.

The company now employs more than 700 people and is worth £2billion.

Mr Kelly stepped down from his role as non-executive director of Softcat in October 2015.

Before he created Softcat, Mr Kelly, who has previously described himself as a “weird and eccentric entrepreneur”, dropped out of college and started out in sales at Xerox, according to a profile on Forbes.

A profile in The Business Magazine adds that after joining Rank Xerox in 1981, he went on to set up a recruitment company in 1987, before an Apple dealership in 1988.

Mr Kelly, who lives in Buckinghamshire, no longer has a major role in Softcat, but his unofficial title before he retired was reportedly “minister of fun” and he was quoted as saying: “I just care that people are happy.”

Robert Watts, the compiler of The Sunday Times Tax List, said: “You will find celebrities on the Tax List but many of the entries are people who quietly run largely unheralded businesses that have been creating jobs and paying millions of tax for decades or even centuries."


1 Alex Gerko, financial trading, £487.4 million.

2 Denise, John and Peter Coates, gambling, £460.2 million.

3 Stephen Rubin and family, sportswear, £392.3 million.

4 Sir Chris Hohn, hedge fund, £263 million.

5 Fred and Peter Done and family, gambling, £136.8 million.

6 Mike Ashley, sports equipment and fashion, £133.5 million.

7 Tim Martin, pubs, £123.2 million.

8 Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan and family, food, £120.7 million.

9 Tom Morris and family, retail, £112.2 million.

10 Ian and Richard Livingstone, property, £104 million.

11 Dame Mary and Douglas Perkins and family, opticians, £100.9 million.

12 Sir James Dyson and family, technology, £93 million.

13 Lady Philomena Clark and family, car sales, £92.7 million.

14 Leonie Schroder and family, finance, £88.7 million.

15 John Bloor, housebuilding and motorcycles, £86.4 million.

16 Glenn Gordon and family, distilling, £81.6 million.

17 Will Adderley and family, home furnishings, £69.8 million.

18 The Marshall family, defence equipment and car sales, £60.3 million.

19 Kathy and John Murphy and family, construction and property, £59.8 million.

20 Peter Kelly, software, £59.6 million.