U2 can be a rich capitalist and pay little tax Sunday, February 11, 2007
Bloomberg have done a report suggesting that Bono and his U2 colleagues are incredibly astute businessmen whose affairs have been successfully managed to minimise their tax bills. They suggest that this has been achieved with devices/techniques including the use of offshore trust and exploiting international tax arbitrage.
The thrust of their article is that whilst Bono bullies governments around the developed world to donate tax receipts to address world poverty, he contributes very little of those tax revenue thanks to sophisticated tax planning.
While Bono was making his [ONE] appeal, U2 was racking up $389 million in gross ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time, according to Billboard magazine. No. 1 is the Rolling Stones’ current tour, which by the end of 2006 had received $425 million. Revenue from the Vertigo tour is funneled through companies that are mostly registered in Ireland and structured to minimize taxes. “U2 are arch-capitalists - but it looks as if they’re not,” says Jim Aiken, a music promoter who helped stage U2 concerts in Ireland during the 1980s and ’90s.