Rather than supposition, do you have any idea what Branson pays in tax?
Its almost impossible to calculate what he payes in taxes as all of his business are spread in offshore companies with different levys of tax.
But this little piece in the Mail pretty much sums up the type of character he really is.
The Virgin tycoon's first business venture, in 1969, was Student magazine, sold from a basement off London's Edgware Road, and his next was selling records from a warehouse in Paddington.Both enterprises were tinged by sharp practices, especially Virgin Records. Based on cheating the Customs & Excise of tax on the sale of records, Branson chortled that the fraud was "a great wheeze".
Eventually he was fined £20,000 and paid £40,000 in taxes, the equivalent today of nearly £1million. That crime could be ignored as a youthful excess if Branson had not perpetuated another unethical ruse in 1988.
On that occasion, being depressed by the poor performance of Virgin Music on the stock market and having sold shares to the public at 140p, he wanted to buy them back for the same price, valuing the company at £248m.
Reluctantly, the shareholders agreed, although they were unaware that Branson had already agreed to sell the same shares to Pony Canyon, a Japanese media company, for £377m - that's £129m more than he told his shareholders the company was worth.
That dishonesty was eventually revealed in 2000 when Branson was on the verge of winning the franchise for the National Lottery from Camelot.
It was his second such attempt, but his bid became mired in a dispute with the Lottery regulator, Lord Burns (a hugely respected former permanent secretary at the Treasury).
Lord Burns advised that Branson's past business record rendered him unsuitable to be trusted to manage the Lottery's billions. So ended what Branson called "the most important thing in my life".
As a brilliant salesman and unique self-publicist, Branson can be forgiven for hyping his products' successes and smudging discomforting truths. Yet he often teeters on the edge of making fraudulent claims.
For example, during his launch of Virgin Cola in 1995, he claimed that his new drink had 10 per cent of the market, while, in truth, it had fallen to just 3.3 pc.
"We're earning £1m profits a week from Virgin Cola," Branson claimed.
However, insiders knew the business was actually losing money and was worth a fraction of his assessment.
Branson might claim his optimism was innocent, but others would say that if public money was at stake - as with Northern Rock - such false assertions would be reckless.
Public investors did indeed risk their money in Branson's ventures involving clothes, cosmetics and a Belgian-based airline, Virgin Express. In all three companies, the original investors lost money.
Today, in another area of his wide-ranging business portfolio, those investors who put money into Virgin Media (now haemorrhaging viewers to archrival BSkyB) and Virgin Mobile USA at the outset are now losing money.
Private investors have also lost by tying themselves to Branson. In 1999, Singapore Airlines bought a 49 pc stake in Virgin Atlantic, based on its value of £1.2 billion.
The airline is now valued at about £750 m and Singapore Airlines wants to sell its stake. Like his partners in Virgin Blue, a low-cost airline in Australia, the Singaporeans have not enjoyed their relationship with Branson.
But, more importantly, the biggest loser to date in Branson's enterprises has been the British taxpayer - especially due to his involvement in the privatisation of British Rail.
In the early Nineties, Branson pledged he could run an efficient rail franchise and make it profitable within five years.
As a result, Virgin Rail won the lucrative West Coast franchise on the basis of a deal in which it received a £77m subsidy from the Government and would then pay back a licence fee to run the line from the anticipated profits.
Branson promised that within two years, his service would provide "hand-held TV sets, low-cost phone reservations and more staff".
Students and groups would be offered "deeply discounted fares".
However, Branson has failed to transform the West Coast line, with millions of passengers suffering delays while taxpayers have been forced to fork out more money in subsidies.
The fact is that behind the cheeky, blokey persona lies Branson's raw pursuit of money, power and influence