TOKYO (TR) – Popular idol group AKB48 is in trouble with tax authorities after its management company failed to declare more than 400 million yen in expenses for a three year period through November last year, reports TV Asahi (Sep. 1).
The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau revealed on Monday that the group’s talent agency, AKS, had not declared expenses relating to financial matters such as rent, dental work and transportation fees.
According to the report, AKS did not do much to conceal the expenses in question. “We had a difference of opinion on what should be included in the report,” AKS said, “but now that the tax office has pointed this out, we will file again.”
The company is now behind on payments amounting to more than 100 million yen. AKS is reported to have considered expenses such as those for members’ rent to be donations in which no return was expected, the report said.
This is not the first transgression to emerge regarding the highly image-conscious pop group. In March, a tabloid revealed that one of the band’s former managers had been filming the girls secretly in their changing rooms. Other scandals related to management have involved drug use and illicit affairs.
Each of the 138 members in the group and its affiliate units is also kept to a strict moral code, though forays into porn are not unheard of for former members. In 2013, member Minami Minegishi shaved her head and posted a video to the Internet in apologizing for having a boyfriend.