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Old 11-28-2009, 11:46 AM   #1
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U2 and tax in Ireland

Does anyone know the real truth behind what U2 pays in tax, as I keep hearing people slag off the band and Bono in particular for being hypocrites. They seem to use the tax issue to criticise Bono and in light of the Glastonbury news, they just want him to shut up about Africa, paying off debts etc, when they avoid paying tax in Ireland, a lot of people see it as hypocritical and contradictory...

I just want to know the real facts and if the press had reported overexaggerations and people who read The Sun etc are just joining the bandwagon...
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:05 PM   #2
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There was a lot of good discussion about this topic in this thread: U2 being accused of robbing the poor
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:21 PM   #3
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I just enjoy the fact that Netherlands is paying more money to the cause than Ireland. There goes that entire argument.
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:04 PM   #4
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They pay all the taxes they must for everything they have or produce in Ireland, but they moved their publishing business to Holland a couple of years ago because the taxes there are lower. What some Irish don't usually say is that foreing business, especially the technological, don't pay any tax there, I mean big business such as Google pay no taxes in Ireland, while their own citizens pay more than 40% for the same concept.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
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Plus, U2 pays taxes in every country they perform in. They would also, pay "state" tax, for merchandise which is sold in the U.S. Example, tee shirts sold in Maryland. Would be income, so U2 would pay federal and state tax. Which, helps us out. Bono and Edge pay property taxes to California and New York, since both have residence there.

Thank you, Bono, Larry, Edge, and Adam.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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I just want to know the real facts and if the press had reported overexaggerations and people who read The Sun etc are just joining the bandwagon...
I like you already.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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There was a lot of good discussion about this topic in this thread: U2 being accused of robbing the poor
"It seems that The Netherlands contributes far more in Official Development Assistance to foreign aid per Gross National Income than Ireland does. .54% for Ireland, as opposed to .81% for The Netherlands."

Okay, I'm seriously drunk (hence the dumbness), but if Ireland tax U2's royalty income at around 12.5% and the Netherlands rate is not much more than 5% (which is a significant difference, as opposed to .54 and .81), wouldn't more of U2's money reach foreign aid recipients as a result of paying taxes in Ireland when you break it all down?
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:15 PM   #8
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if they would spend all of the money saved on drinking champagne, then yes
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:48 PM   #9
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"It seems that The Netherlands contributes far more in Official Development Assistance to foreign aid per Gross National Income than Ireland does. .54% for Ireland, as opposed to .81% for The Netherlands."

Okay, I'm seriously drunk (hence the dumbness), but if Ireland tax U2's royalty income at around 12.5% and the Netherlands rate is not much more than 5% (which is a significant difference, as opposed to .54 and .81), wouldn't more of U2's money reach foreign aid recipients as a result of paying taxes in Ireland when you break it all down?
wow u r good when u r drunk. Drink more! :-)

12.5 * .54 = 6.75
5 * .81 = 4.05

So in that cae u would be right. haha. however, it's not a percentage of the royalty income that goes to development aid, but a percentage of gross national income...

apart from that. I think that talking about debt cancelling for porr countries and trying to pas as less tax as possible don't have aything to do with each other. I don't see the hypocrisy. Who knows what part of the money Bono earns is donated to the good cause? probably more than you expect...
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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My understanding is that Ireland had a low-tax system for certain kinds of entertainment/arts industries, which they decided to remove at some point. In response to this, U2 moved their business to the Netherlands to take advantage of lower corporation tax rates.

Nobody I have met wants to pay more tax than they need to, especially when the rate jumps dramatically. By moving their work elsewhere, they have more control over what they give/donate to their causes. I am a tax consultant, and spend my days finding ways for companies to pay less tax - there are many more working for individuals. The tax rules change so often, and are so complex that it is almost as though the tax authorities try and extract and punish as much as possible.

From a personal perspective, I'd rather they hadn't moved their tax jurisdiction given Bono's penchant for the dramatic appeal.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:15 PM   #11
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In response to this, U2 moved their business to the Netherlands to take advantage of lower corporation tax rates.
And they can record a "U2 Go Home" dvd in Holland!
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