Four members of experimental rock band Sigur Rós have been charged with tax evasion, RÚV reports. Georg Holm, Kjartan Sveinsson, Orri Páll Dýrason, and frontman Jón Þór Birgisson (‘Jónsi’) have been charged with failing to correctly declare income and dividends.
All of the band members except Kjartan Sveinsson are charged with major tax fraud by having submitted fundamentally incorrect tax returns from 2011 through 2014. Kjartan is charged with having submitted incorrect tax returns for the years 2012 and 2014.
Jónsi is accused of having evaded income taxes amounting to ISK 30 million [$245,059; €218,248] and capital gains tax of up to ISK 13 million [$106,184; €94,567]. According to his indictment, he failed to declare ISK 75 million [$612,498; €545,515] in income and dividends of ISK 67 million [$547,299; €545,515]. The auditor reviewing Sigur Rós’s tax returns also indicated that Jónsi did not correctly file his tax returns for 2014 and 2015 and in so doing, evaded income tax of as much as ISK 22.6 million [$184,566; €164,383] and capital gains tax of up to ISK 10 million [$81,673; €72,737].
Georg Holm, the band’s bassist, is charged with evading income tax of up to ISK 35 million [$285,880; € 254,550] and capital gains tax of ISK 9.5 million [$77,596; €69,093]. According to the charges, Georg’s income during the period covered by the indictment was ISK 79 million [$645,532; € 574,824], with dividends of ISK 47 million [$383,896; €341,984].
Kjartan Sveinsson, who left the band six years ago, is accused of having evaded income tax of ISK 18 million [$147,035; €130,913] on an alleged income of ISK 42 million [$343,056; €305,433].
Orri Páll Dýrason, who left the band in October amidst sexual assault allegations, is charged with having evaded income tax of ISK 36 million [$294,094; €261,823] and capital gains tax of up to ISK 9.5 million [$77,602; €69,092]. During the time period in question, Orri Páll had an income of ISK 81 million [$661,660; €589,099, with dividends of as much as ISK 47 million [$383,957; €341,835].
No court date has yet been set for the band members, but while the case is pending trial, their assets have been frozen. The majority of these assets belong to Jónsi, who currently resides in Los Angeles, California, in the US.
Throughout the audit, the band members have maintained their innocence and said that they had, in good faith, left their financial affairs in the hands of experts hired to handle their taxes and financial management. Their lawyer, Bjarnfreður Ólafsson, echoed this in a statement, saying “The members of Sigur Rós are musicians – not experts on bookkeeping and international finance.”