In the U.S., tax sheltering or tax avoidance through loopholes is considered an almost-commonplace way of life or doing business for the super-rich and major corporations. It almost never makes front-page news. In the UK – with its National Heath System and more pervasive government programs – the culture considers tax sheltering and tax avoidance a more scandalous accusation, which often does make front-page news.
That scandal just cast a pall over UK musicians and other celebrities, including all four members of Arctic Monkeys. George Michael, Katie Melua and even Sir Michael Caine are caught up.
According to the Times of London (via Gigwise), more than 1,600 people allegedly sheltered a collective £1.2 billion through the Liberty tax strategy in what the British newspaper calls “one of Britain’s most aggressive tax avoidance schemes.”
Arctic Monkeys members Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley and Matt Helders have so far refused to comment. They’re accused of “[paying] between £38,000 and £84,000 in fees to shelter between £557,000 and £1.1 million,” according to the Times.