The Icelandic Directorate of Internal Revenue has released details of tax bills for 2014. The details are in the public domain for a very limited period each year, which allows interested parties—usually journalists—to figure out who paid the most tax, and therefore by extension, who earned the most money.
In a country where people don’t usually talk openly about how much they earn, it has become a popular annual tradition to compile ‘rich lists’. Magazines and papers, including DV and Frjáls Verslun, can always expect bumper sales for their rich list special issues. Every tax payer in Iceland can now sign in to Skattur.is and see their own 2014 tax report.
The fishing magnate Þórður Rafn Sigurðsson paid the highest tax bill of any individual in Iceland last year, at ISK 671 million (EUR 4.53 million/USD 4.96 million)—which earns him the title of Tax King—a term almost everyone in Iceland is familiar with.
Following him is Þorsteinn Sigurðsson, who paid around ISK 300 million in 2014. Kári Stefánsson, director of deCODE Genetics, was third on ISK 277 million.
Þorður Rafn was the owner of the Dala-Rafn fishing company on Vestmannaeyjar, but all the company’s shares were bought up by Ísfélag Vestmannaeyja last year, which explains his bumper tax bill.
Last year’s Tax King, Jón A. Ágústsson, is not among this year’s top 20, RÚV reports.
There are three women among the top 20: Guðbjörg Matthíasdóttir, fisheries magnate from Vestmannaeyjar; María Rúnarsdóttir, founder of innovation company Mint Solutions; and María Vigdís Ólafsdóttir from Seyðisfjörður.
The list of the top 20 tax payers in Iceland in 2014 is as follows:
1 Þórður Rafn Sigurðsson, Vestmannaeyjar, ISK 671,565,763
2 Þorsteinn Sigurðsson, Hafnarfjörður, ISK 304,633,336
3 Kári Stefánsson, Reykjavík, ISK 277,499,661
4 Gunnar Torfason, Reykjavík, ISK 180,939,049
5 Davíð Freyr Albertsson, Kópavogur, ISK 173,206,913
6 Bert Martin Hanson, Reykjavík, ISK 140,284,145
7 Jón Guðmann Pétursson, Kópavogur, ISK 136,371,742
8 Guðbjörg M Matthíasdóttir, Vestmannaeyjar, ISK 127,296,164
9 Árni Harðarson, Reykjavík, ISK 121,618,964
10 Kristján V Vilhelmsson, Akureyri, ISK 110,473,857
11 Stefán Hrafnkelsson, Reykjavík, ISK 103,185,589
12 Adolf Guðmundsson, Seyðisfjörður, ISK 102,093,894
13 Grímur Karl Sæmundsen, Reykjavík, ISK 96,753,634
14 Guðjón Harðarson, Seyðisfjörður, ISK 96,516,183
15 María Vigdís Ólafsdóttir, Seyðisfjörður, ISK 94,486,876
16 Patrick Maurice Franzois Sulem, Reykjavík, ISK 92,690,395
17 Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, Akureyri, ISK 92,393,574
18 María Rúnarsdóttir, Kópavogur, ISK 91,786,379
19 Gunnar Guðmundsson, Reykjavík, ISK 82,125,263
20 Jákup Napoleon Purkhús, Reykjavík, ISK 76,501,686