Supergroups and international artists looking for shortcuts to pay less taxes are not a new phenomenon - does anyone remember, for instance, the French exile of the Rolling Stones, in the early Seventies? But it souds a bit odd if those "creative" tax arrangements come from a band like U2, famous for their ethics and political/social views.
Recently U2's frontman Bono was interviewed by The Guardian and was asked to explain the choice to offshore part of their income through the Dutch Antilles avoid tax, a decision that has been viewed as hypocrisy by many - since Bono has criticized the Irish government for its spending and then he tries to avoid paying taxes.
"It is not an intellectually rigorous position unless you understand that at the heart of the Irish economy has always been the philosophy of tax competitiveness", Bono answered, according to The Guardian. "Tax competitiveness has taken our country out of poverty. People in the [tax department] accept that if you engage in that policy, then some people are going to go out, and some people are coming in. It has been a successful policy. [...] Tax competitiveness is why Ireland has stayed afloat. When the Germans tried to impose a different tax regime on the country in exchange for a bailout, the taoiseach said they would rather not have the bailout. So U2 is in total harmony with our government's philosophy".
Bono also added: "I think for many reasons people have taken a dislike to our band and to me. This is another one. I have worked as an activist for all my adult life, and I think overall that no one can doubt we have been pretty effective. You can criticize me for a lot of things, but probably not for my commitment of time and energy".
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