Thought big commercial entertainers like Gary Barlow were the only tax avoiders in British music? Turns out indie artists aren’t averse to fiddling the books either. An investigation by the Times reveals that Arctic Monkeys are among a list of 1,200 high-earners who have avoided paying their taxes, including George Michael, Sir Michael Caine, Katie Melua and Anne Robinson.
The celebrities allegedly cooked the books by investing in a controversial tax avoidance scheme run by a company called Liberty. According to the secret database obtained by the Times, Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and his bandmates Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley and Matt Helder each paid between £38,000 and £84,000 in fees in order to shelter between £557,000 and £1.1 million in taxes. You could buy more than 69,000 copies of their album AM off iTunes for £557,000, let alone over a million.
But that’s nothing compared to other offenders who were named and shamed in the report. George Michael allegedly invested in Liberty seven years ago and tried to shelter £6.2 million.
Arctic Monkeys have refused to comment on the allegations so far. But hey, unlike Gary Barlow, at least they don't have an OBE to worry about.