In a new interview in Fréttablaðið, Guðný Halldórsdóttir Laxness – daughter of Nobel Prize winning author and national treasure Halldór Laxness – says that Icelandic tax authorities have been making life difficult for her and her entire family. For the past four years now, they have been locking horns with the tax office over the Laxness estate.
Halldór passed away in 1998 and his wife, Auður, passed away in October 2012. In the wake of her passing, the heirs to the Laxness estate sought to settle their affairs and divide it amongst themselves. However, the County Seat refused their request; they believed that the value of the estate had been underestimated, and came to the conclusion that Laxness’ copyright was worth 28 million ISK, and that this amount needed to be taxed accordingly.
However, the heirs disagree. They estimated that the copyright was valued at closer to 500,000 ISK, “more out of courtesy to the Icelandic nation and people than anything else,” as they estimate the value of the author’s copyright is exactly zero ISK, due to fruitless attempts to sell Laxness’ publishing rights.
“The tax office seems to think we have the Nobel money under a pillow, but the government got that money as a gift,” Guðný told reporters. “No Icelandic artist has been persecuted by the Icelandic tax office like my father has.”
As such, the family has all but given up, not having the resources to pursue the matter any further.