Gary Barlow, George Michael, Katie Melua and more involved as details are revealed
Andrew Trendell

09:03 9th July 2014

More about:

All four members of Arctic Monkeys are among a number of musicians and celebrities who have been named as being part of a controversial tax avoidance scheme, according to reports.

A secret database leaked to The Times newspaper revealed around 1,600 people who tried to shelter £1.2billion through an 'aggressive tax avoidance scheme' known as the 'Liberty' tax strategy.

While a range of doctors, businessmen and QCs were involved alongside Sir Michael Caine and others, many bands and artists were also named and shamed.

The Time report that all four members of Arctic Monkeys each paid between £38,000 and £84,000 in fees to shelter between £557,000 and £1.1 million - Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Nick O’Malley and Matt Helders have so far refused to comment. 

It is also claimed that Katie Melua tried to shelter £500,000 through Liberty in 2008 - two years before she told the public that half of her income went on tax, and was nominated Christian Aid’s Tax Superhero Award. Her lawyers then said she only used the scheme under her accountants' advice and has since repaid said cash to the HMRC.

Meanwhile, George Michael is said to have tried to shelter £6.2 million. A spokesman said that is currently 'too busy' to comment. 

Arctic Monkeys return to these shores to play Marlay Park in Dublin on 12 July, T In The Park in Scotland on 13 July and Reading and Leeds Festival over August Bank Holiday weekend. For more information visit Gigwise Tickets

Below: 7 ways Alex Turner became one of music's richest under-30s

  • Selling shedloads of copies of AM: Their 2013 album broke records when they became the first ever independent band to have five consecutive No.1 albums - shifting 157,000 copies in its first week alone. Since then, it's gone platinum twice in the UK alone, with pretty epic record sales around the world. Not bad.

  • Becoming festival giants: Arctic Monkeys are no strangers to headlining festivals, but their new more rock-based anthemic sound and unforeseen explosion in popularity saw them top Glastonbury last year and Reading and Leeds this summer - with them becoming one of the most booked festival acts on the planet in between.

  • Being one of the most played bands on the radio: Seriously, they're totally inescapable - they soundtracked 2013 and beyond.

  • Becoming HUGE in the US: They've always been a pretty big deal in the UK and Europe, but the past 12 months were the year that Arctic Monkeys really 'broke' the US. The last time they were over there, they were supporting The Black Keys, now they're headlining festivals, selling out arenas and winning over legions of fans with countless TV appearances. 'Do I Wanna Know' found itself at No.1 on the US Alternative Songs Chart and AM saw the band crack the Billboard top 10 albums chart for the first time since 2007.

  • Appearing on Queens Of The Stone Age's 'If I Had A Tail': Every little helps

  • Everyone covering 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High' or 'Do I Wanna Know': Miley Cyrus, Chvrches, Jagwar Ma, Daley, James Arthur, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Vamps, Katy B, MS MR - the list goes on. Has anyone NOT recorded an AM cover in the last 12 months?

  • The huge headline shows: From Earl's Court to the upcoming shows at Finsbury Park, AM and their epic live show has seen Arctic Monkeys become not only one of the most-in demand tickets in the world, but filling the shoes of Oasis and joining the ranks of Muse as the UK's true great guitar live band. God only knows how much they'll be taking home from the 80,000+ tickets sold from Finsbury Park.

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

More about:

Photo: WENN