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Icelandic rock band Sigur Ros charged with tax evasion

/ 12:37 PM March 29, 2019
Sigur Ros tax evasion

Image: Instagram/@sigurros

Members of the Icelandic avant-garde rock band Sigur Ros have been charged with tax evasion three years after authorities launched a probe of the group’s finances.

An indictment issued by the district prosecutor Thursday accused the prominent musicians of submitting incorrect tax returns from 2011 to 2014, evading a total of 151 million Icelandic Krona ($1.2 million).

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The band’s four members faulted their former accountant and said they cooperated with tax authorities after learning about the inaccurate tax returns.

In a statement Thursday, they vowed to clear the Sigur Ros name and said the group “regrets seeing the case end up in court.”

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Assets of the four, including apartments and houses worth $6.5 million, will be frozen pending trial, authorities said. Two-thirds of the assets belong to Sigur Ros frontman Jon Thor Birgisson, who currently lives in Los Angeles.

Birgisson is charged with evading about $240,000 in income taxes and another $105,000 in taxes on his investment income.

According to the prosecutor, other band members — Georg Holm, Kjartan Sveinsson and Orri Pall Dyrason — allegedly neglected reporting a total of $1.6 million in income, of which they should have paid about $725,000 in taxes.

In Iceland, general income tax for high earners is 46 percent.

Holm and Dyrason are also accused of evading about $150,000 in taxes on investments.

“The members of Sigur Ros are musicians — not experts on bookkeeping and international finance,” defense lawyer Bjarnfredur Olafsson said in a statement.

A court date has not been set. CC

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TAGS: accounting, Iceland, Rock bands, Sigur Rós, tax evasion
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