Roxette found guilty of tax evasion; plans to appeal

STOCKHOLM - Roxette is sentenced to pay 3.6 million kronor (€400,000) in taxes after a tour in Germany.

  "We will appeal," says Per Gessle.
Per is among the top tax payers in Sweden, with
taxes around 10-15 million kronor each year. "He could avoid a lot of it, but that's not the way he wants it," says Per's financial advisor Mats Nilemar.

  The county administrative court sentenced Per and Marie to pay about 3.6 million kronor in unpaid taxes.
"They have to pay taxes for what they have not declared," says
Bo Ryding, who has been handling this errand at the IRS.

  This issue has its ground in the German part of the
Crash!Boom!Bang! tour in the mid '90s. Altogether, Roxette
did 19 gigs in Germany (a country known for their harsh
tax laws).
"The artist tax was not very advantageous," says Bo Ryding.
By acknowledging themselves as employees of EMA Telstar,
Per and Marie were able to avoid the tax and get their
salary directly from the company.

  They would then get 640,000 SEK each for all the German concerts. This unproportionately low wage made German tax officials suspicious. "They found the amount unrealistic," says Bo Ryding.

  The alarm from Germany led the Swedish IRS to start an investigation. The investigation showed that the wages have not been paid. Instead, compensation had been sent directly to Per's and Marie's company, Roxette Productions.
This income, says the Swedish IRS, has not been declared.

  Per and Marie's lawyer has appealed against this.
He claims that an employment could not be proven, and that
the money therefore not could be taxed as income from a
service. The process has been going on since the end of the '90s.

  But Per and Marie have not given up.
"We still claim that we're right, and we will appeal," says
Per Gessle.

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

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March 11th, 2004

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