Monday, December 08, 2008

ABBA singers have mixed results offshore

ABBA's Bjorn wins $17m tax case

October 15, 2008 - 11:35AM
Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus has won an appeal against Swedish tax authorities.

Ulvaeus has for several years battled with the tax authorities over how much tax he should pay on royalty income, mainly from ABBA recordings.

The county administrative court ruled against the tax authorities that had wanted the successful composer and former ABBA member to pay an additional 85 million kronor ($17.25 million) for the period 1999-2005.

"I am of course very happy that I have been informed in writing that I have always done the right thing concerning my taxes," Ulvaeus was quoted as telling the online edition of the economics magazine Privata Affarer.

The rights to ABBA's sugary sweet yet undeniably catchy tunes, such as "Dancing Queen," "Mamma Mia" and "Waterloo," have been controlled by the Dutch company Fintage since 1990. Fintage then made an arrangement with a company called Stanova, which operates in the Netherlands Antilles, a Caribbean island group.

According to Dagens Nyheter, Stanova also happens to be indirectly owned by Ulvaeus, who, along with Andersson, produced ABBA's biggest hits and created the musicals Chess and Mamma Mia! The group has sold more than 370 million albums worldwide, despite not having performed together since 1982.

Tax Authority spokesman Victor Palm said that Ulvaeus has been "paying less tax than he should," and that the agency suspects that royalty payments for the singer-songwriter have been directed to Stanova so that Ulvaeus could catch a break, a tax structure the Authority does not approve of.

ABBA star wins tax case
Tax bingo för Björn Ulvaeus - Translation
Icethesite Bjorn Ulvaeus blog
More tax woes for ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus

Frida will have to pay millions in taxes!

The former star of ABBA Anni-Frid Reuss - Lyngstad - apect"Frida" - has to pay 12 million Swedish kronor in taxes and interest on revenue of music that were transferred to her company in the tax haven of Panama. This was decided by the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm.

While Björn Ulvaeus earlier this week won a lengthy lawsuit against the National Tax Director, and will get back 85 million Swedish kronor second decision of the Court's Administrative Council, is going in the opposite direction of the former companion of band Anni-Frid Reuss - Lyngstad.

The company registered in Panama as Chaperon, for which she is the sole owner, received royalty revenues from Polar Music and Universal Music of the rights on ABBA products. The money was deposited in a bank account in Switzerland, where Anni-Frid Reuss - Lyngstad resides.

This was discovered by the National Tax Directorate few years ago, when an inspection was done on tax returns of Chaperon, income for the period 2000-2002 as part of an investigation relating to payments of royalties from Sweden.

Anni-Frid Reuss - Lyngstad is not required to pay tax in Sweden as she is not a resident there, but Chaperon is - which was also recognized when it submitted its income tax returns.

However, the company claimed large reductions in spending - because of the acquisition of rights - which meant that it appeared the company was taking losses.

The National Tax Directorate did not accept the deductions by Chaperon and imposed a fine of additional 38 million Swedish crowns its revenue during the period 2000-2002. This meant that Anni-Frid Reuss - Lyngstad is required to pay taxes and interest of approximately 12 million Swedish crowns.

The former member of ABBA appealed the decision before the Court, but the appeal was rejected. Now the verdict was settled by the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm.

Millionaire tax loss for Abba's Frida - Translation


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