By Altus Group | July 6, 2020

30 foreign embassies across the Capital, including the United States of America and the Russian Federation, are refusing to pay their share of business rates bills which fund street cleaning and lighting outside their own embassies.

The Foreign Office has confirmed, in a Freedom of Information Request, that diplomatic missions and embassies from around the world owe the taxman £1.5 million in unpaid business rates following years of pressure being applied to Ambassadors in unpaid congestion zone fines and parking tickets which a handful refuse to pay.

Diplomatic representatives from foreign countries are officially exempt from all national, regional or municipal taxes for their buildings but the Government has encouraged most to pay a “beneficial portion” of their bill.

Embassies from Tunisia, Romania and Qatar are also among 30 countries which each owe the taxman more than £10,000 in unpaid rates as are the High Commissions of Malaysia and Pakistan despite demands from officials at the Foreign Office.

Robert Hayton, Head of UK Business Rates at Altus Group, said, “Many of these embassies operate from prime Central London real estate are intentionally refusing to pay their tiny tax contributions of just 6%.

“Offices across the Capital were largely closed during the lockdown and firms will be wondering why countries can avoid paying nominal contributions, yet they had to pay in full whilst they were unable to occupy.”

Who Owes The Taxman Business Rates?


The Missions listed below owe over £10,000 in respect of business rates: £
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan 164,178
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran 143,217
Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe 124,175
Embassy of Libya 94,519
Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria 92,830
Embassy of the Republic of Iraq 88,568
High Commission for the Republic of Zambia 74,794
High Commission for Sierra Leone 70,088
High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 64,492
Malaysian High Commission 59,578
Uganda High Commission 52,254
Embassy of the Russian Federation 47,642
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 41,658
High Commission for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 37,001
High Commission for the Federal Republic of Nigeria 36,975
Embassy of the Republic of Liberia 36,149
Embassy of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire 32,525
Kingdom of Eswatini High Commission 29,860
Embassy of the Republic of Korea 26,896
Embassy of the State of Qatar 25,028
Embassy of the United States of America 23,694
Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar 18,808
Embassy of Tunisia 15,791
Embassy of Romania 13,891
Embassy of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea 13,300
Embassy of the Republic of Angola 12,293
Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania 12,143
Embassy of the Republic of Yemen 11,964
The Gambia High Commission 11,716
Embassy of the Republic of Haiti 10,413



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