Entertainment

Expert claims PewDiePie could be trying to dodge tax with offshore account

Published: 5/Jan/2021 11:39

by Jacob Hale

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A tax expert has accused PewDiePie of attempting to dodge paying his taxes in the UK, with plans to shift his company, PewDie UK Ltd., to Cyprus.

PewDiePie is one of the biggest online entertainers on the planet. His YouTube channel, in excess of 100 million subscribers, firmly plants him as the most subscribed-to individual creator on the platform, and as such, means he’s doing well to fill his wallet, too.

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While PewDiePie is Swedish, he has resided in Brighton, England for much of his life, and director of the UK-based PewDie UK since April 2019.

Now, though, he has appointed two new directors to the company — and it’s believed that they will help him reduce his tax bill by migrating the company from the UK to Cyprus, where the new directors are based.

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pewdiepie in field with dog
Instagram: pewdiepie
PewDiePie is one of the highest-earning YouTubers.

According to this report from Input Mag, the two new directors — Andreas Menelaou and Kseniia Milevska — have provided a correspondence address on PewDie UK Ltd. that is their own company’s base, Andreas Menelaou LLC in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Tax expert Nimesh Shah, CEO of Blick Rothenberg, told Input Mag that this is likely down to PewDiePie’s desire to take advantage of the reduced tax rates — 19% in the UK, over 50% higher than the 12.5% taxation in Cyprus.

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“From a tax perspective, what I think they’re trying to do is they’re trying to migrate this UK company to Cyprus,” he said. “If the decisions, the overall management, and strategic decisions are conducted outside the UK, you can migrate that company outside the UK for tax purposes, and therefore the UK lets go of it and corporation tax.”

pewdiepie and wife marzia
Instagram: pewdiepie
PewDiePie and his wife, Marzia, have discussed emigrating to Japan — but “it depends on a lot of things like taxes.”

Popular YouTuber Kwebbelkop also commented on the matter, saying that “most of them [top YouTubers] are going to start considering looking for ways to minimize the amount of money they have to pay.” Adding “a lot of people try to keep it as secret as possible because it can be damaging for their reputation.”

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Of course, it is not yet possible to prove that this is exactly what is happening, but it does appear to these experts that Kjellberg is trying to look for ways to maximize his earnings — and cut his losses.

It’s also worth noting that this is not an illegal procedure. It’s incredibly common for those earning a certain amount of money to register their companies in offshore accounts so as to reduce tax payments. But, as Kwebbelkop notes, while not illegal, these decisions can damage reputations, so PewDiePie is unlikely to be shouting about his company’s move.