Music firm Being dinged over taxes

Kyodo

Tax authorities have determined that the founder of major music production firm Being Inc. and some 30 group companies failed to declare about ¥2 billion in taxable income for five years through 2012, sources said Tuesday.

Of the amount, ¥1 billion was reportedly concealed by the founder, Daiko Nagato, 65, and the group firms of Being, which has contracts with popular acts, including B’z. Taking into account losses incurred by the group during the five-year period, tax offices told them to pay slightly more than ¥200 million in back taxes.

A Being official said the firm did not fully agree with the tax authorities’ judgment but paid the back taxes as instructed anyway

The agency listed expenses associated with the training of singers as costs, but tax authorities viewed such spending to be higher than normal, while finding some of the money had been paid to talent management agencies to which the singers belonged.

Tax authorities also found that a real estate company affiliated with Being let its artists and executives live in condominiums in Tokyo and Osaka free of charge while reporting the properties as vacant. Tax authorities said the unpaid rent should be recognized as taxable salary.