The three owners of the entity: Axel Christofer Hedfors, known as Axwell; Sébastien Ingrosso; and Steve Josefsson, who goes by his name Steve Angello, created the entity through another offshore company on the island of Nevis, Marsham LLC, which in turn is controlled by a wealth advisor in Switzerland, has reported SVT. Initially, the plan was to name the company Swedish House Mafia Ltd., but officials in the British Virgin Islands wrote that “Mafia” was “not acceptable for use in a company name,” SVT reported.
In addition to “Don’t You Worry Child”, the group’s biggest hit, the entity also allegedly contained the rights to “Save the World”.
Music copyrights are easy to move between countries and well suited to tax planning, but also possible tax evasion. Some countries have attracted intellectual property rights with low taxes on royalty income, according to Lena Bergkvist, coordinator of the Swedish Tax Agency dealing with international tax evasion.
If the group had tried to attribute the copyright to a company in the British Virgin Islands, “you could try putting your income somewhere with little or no tax – and then handing that money over to a beneficial owner.” ultimate without tax. [applied]”, says Bergkvist Billboard. “This is the reason why [an entity like] this.”
A Swedish House Mafia spokesperson confirmed to SVT the existence of the entity but said in an email that the agreement – including the collaboration with the wealth advisor – was terminated in 2013. “[There were] question marks as to whether the construction could be seen as a means, so to speak, of concealing assets, which could come at the expense of the SHM brand, ”the spokesperson told SVT.
The spokesperson added that the company had probably never withdrawn any money. “The aim of the company was not to evade taxes,” the spokesperson added in a statement to SVT. (A spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment from Billboard.)
At their peak in 2013, Swedish House Mafia ranked fourth on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest paid DJs, earning $ 25 million. When the group broke up that year, two of its members, Axwell and Angello, lived full time in Los Angeles. Since their meeting in 2018, the three members have lived in Sweden.
The band released two new singles in July, “It Gets Better” and “Lifetime,” and announced plans to release their debut studio album, Heaven again, Later this year.
Sweden is traditionally known as a high tax country but eliminated its wealth tax in 2008. The Pandora Papers contain information on some 200 Swedish offshore entities involving politicians, business leaders and artists, Bergkvist said . The leaked documents cover a period from the early 1970s to 2020.