Abba and tax avoidance, tax abuse even

According to Abba: The Official Photo Book, published to mark 40 years since they won Eurovision with Waterloo, the band’s style was influenced in part by laws that allowed the cost of outfits to be deducted against tax – so long as the costumes were so outrageous they could not possibly be worn on the street.

Things used wholly and solely in the performance of a business are indeed tax deductible under our system as well.

It’s just that I can’t help thinking of a certain retired accountant who would insist that such behaviour would be tax avoidance: tax evasion even. Deliberately reducing your tax bill.

Tut, tut.

11 comments on “Abba and tax avoidance, tax abuse even

  1. Actually I have a sneaking suspicion that Ritchie is perhaps not himself averse to having a punt with such a claim.

    I’ve seen videos and pictures of him in a fetching pink cardigan that I’m guessing would be regarded as outrageously camp and metrosexual by many of the locals of Downham Market.

  2. “so long as the costumes were so outrageous they could not possibly be worn on the street.”
    Camden High Street street?

  3. I wonder if the UK will be allowed to claim a rebate for thwarting yet another attempt at an undemocratic pan-european union 200 years ago next year? A year’s full rebate would be a suitable gesture of gratitude from Europe, don’t you think?

  4. In the same way that the profits from an illegal trade are still chargeable to tax, e.g. prostitution, do the memebers of ABBA get the tax deduction but still get charged with crimes against fashion?

  5. I once tried claiming for a business suit, on the grounds that I wore it only for court appearances as an expert witness. I explained that as an academic I was required to dress as a ragamuffin for my principal job. Do you know, the buggers wouldn’t wear it?

  6. This would have to be a crusher for Ritchie.

    He’s just the kind of guy who’d own Abba’s entire catalog.

  7. But what would have been so outrageous you couldn’t possibly have worn it on the street in Sweden in the 1970s? I mean, really?

  8. “But what would have been so outrageous you couldn’t possibly have worn it on the street in Sweden in the 1970s?”

    Well, judging by a couple of the films I saw as a teenager, just about any clothes at all would have been considered outrageous in 1970s Sweden.

  9. “Well, judging by a couple of the films I saw as a teenager, just about any clothes at all would have been considered outrageous in 1970s Sweden.”

    Ah, fond memories…

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