When personal income tax rates were higher, executive compensation came in the form of lavish perks, which weren’t taxed. Now Swedish pop sensation Abba admits that its outrageous outfits were part of its tax strategy:
Reflecting on the group’s sartorial record in a new book, Björn Ulvaeus said: “In my honest opinion we looked like nuts in those years. Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were.”
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.
I suspect that British tax law at the time was rather similar:
(Hat tip to Tyler Cowen.)