Icelandic avant-garde rock band Sigur Ros have been charged with tax evasion, just three years after an investigation into their finances was launched.
Indicted on Thursday by their District Prosecutor, they’ve been accused of submitting incorrect tax returns between 2011 and 2014, amounting to a total evasion of 151 million Icelandic Krona ($1,741,859.67 AUD).
The band said in a statement that they regret that the issue has ended up in court, saying they cooperated with tax authorities and placing blame on their former accountant.
While the court date is still pending, the band’s defence lawyer, Bjarnfredur Olafsson, has said, “The members of Sigur Ros are musicians — not experts on bookkeeping and international finance.”
For the time being, assets belonging to the four band members will remain frozen by authorities.
The ‘assets’ include apartments and houses worth $6.5 million (USD), two thirds of the assets belonging to frontman Jon Thor Birgisson.
Birgisson is currently living in Los Angeles and is charged with roughly $240,000 (USD) of evasion in income taxes and $105,000 in tax on his investments.
The prosecutor says the rest of the band members, Georg Holm, Kjartan Sveinsson, and Orri Pall Dyrason allegedly owe $725,000 in taxes after reportedly failing to report $1.6 million of income.
Iceland’s general income tax for high earners is 46 per cent.
Meanwhile, the band announced via Facebook this morning that they’re releasing a special 20th Anniversary edition of their 1999 album Ágætis byrjun, because why not.