Saturday, 7 January 2012

U2 and the Rolling Stones moved to the Netherlands for tax reasons

World-renowned artists such as U2 and the Rolling Stones moved in recent years substantial parts of its assets to the Netherlands for tax reasons.

The sale of 56 per cent stake in Jeronimo Martins by its principal shareholder is a Dutch subsidiary, announced this week, brought to public debate the question of Portuguese companies who move to the Netherlands.

However, the phenomenon is not only Portuguese. For several years, thousands of companies around the world are opening branches or subsidiaries in the Netherlands, usually for reasons related to tax planning.

Among the entities that are made to the Irish rock band U2 Rolling Stones or the British or the American heirs of Elvis Presley.

The New York Times reported that the Rolling Stones (with the exception of guitarist Ron Wood) have more than three decades ties with the Netherlands through an accounting firm in Amsterdam.

According to the American newspaper, between 1987 and 2007 Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts paid $ 7.2 million (5.6 million) in income taxes of 450 million - equivalent to a rate of 1, 5 percent, far below what would have to pay in the UK or the U.S.. The New York Times wrote that the three musicians in the Netherlands have established foundations that will enable them to convey the property to their heirs without paying any inheritance tax.

As for U2 move to the country of tulips was more recent. By 2006, Ireland made a tax reform that reduced the tax exemption for artists earning less than 250 000 euros.

The band then moved his business 'publishing' (music catalog management, through which they receive copyright) to Amsterdam. The decision prompted criticism in Ireland, particularly in view of the vocation of philanthropic U2, and especially its lead singer, Bono.

"There is nothing illegal in what they did when they take advantage of more favorable tax laws, but in view of what Bono has invested in campaigns to end poverty, we think there's a contradiction here," said Ni Chasaide 2009 , a spokesman for Irish NGO, quoted by the Irish Independent.

The 'manager' of U2, Paul McGuiness, responded to criticism in remarks to the same newspaper, saying the band "is a global company that pays taxes globally."

"At least 95 percent of U2's business - including record sales and ticket [for concerts] - takes place outside of Ireland, and therefore the band pays many taxes in the entire world," McGuinness told the Irish Independent. "Like any other business, U2 operates in a tax efficient," he said.

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