Monkeys and Melua: A Taxing Affair
Arctic Monkeys (pictured), George Michael and Katie Melua have been linked to the latest pop star tax avoidance scheme.
The Times reported this week that they have obtained a secret list of 1,600 people allegedly involved in the ‘Liberty’ scheme between 2005-2009- appropriately the year in which the Monkeys released third album ‘Humbug’. Although it was technically legal, the Inland Revenue has been investigating the scheme, which allegedly generates huge ‘artificial losses’ offshore, enabling investors to avoid tax on other income. The revenue reportedly hopes to shut the scheme down soon and those who have benefitted may have to pay tax back.
Mainstream pop star tax avoidance poster boy Gary Barlow is also linked to Liberty– though the latest allegations are arguably most damaging to Meluha given that she has been nominated for Christian Aid’s ‘Tax Superhero Award’ (no, really) and stating in a 2008 interview that she pays “nearly half of what comes to me in taxes”.
A spokesman for Melua said: “When HM Revenue and Customs stated they were reviewing the scheme, she paid the tax to HMRC in full. HMRC are not out of pocket and she has not avoided any tax liability”.
Of course, Arctic Monkeys shrewdly safeguarded themselves against such allegations by naming their first album ‘Whatever people say I am that’s what I’m not’.
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