Author Topic: U2 and Taxes  (Read 1388 times)

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Offline redrunningred

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U2 and Taxes
« on: June 04, 2017, 03:04:20 PM »
Hey. So it doesnt really bother me, I know the boys have a heart of gold, and especially what Bono's done for charity, they really in my mind are good people, but i read in all the video comments, "PAY YOUR TAXES, TAX EXILES," etc. Whats the background on this criticism, and what are I am sure the reasonable responses to it?



Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2017, 04:06:35 PM »
In a nutshell, U2 officially moved their country of operation from Ireland to the Netherlands because of tax costs... it's cheaper for the band that way. Lots of people chalk this up as "tax evasion" and label U2 (Bono, more specifically) as cheap and phony.

It's smart business to me, but what do I know?  :)

Offline ShankAsu

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2017, 05:00:58 PM »
they did nothing illegal.  they used the tax laws to their advantage.  they've paid plenty of taxes in their lifetime.

Offline briscoetheque

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 05:15:07 PM »
The world deals in perception, not reality. People object, understandably, to a rich corporation with access to highly skilled business and accounting professionals minimising (albeit it legally) the tax they pay.

And they object to this being done whilst the lead singer of the   corporation lobbies governments all over the world to increase the aid from their tax revenue that goes to causes that may not be a top priority.

Its been discussed a lot. But to me it's completely understandable, and a savvy business decision became a very bad PR decision.

Offline fardreamer

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2017, 01:28:10 AM »
I pay as little tax as possible. I think everyone pays as little tax as possible.

It was always a manufactured controversy.

Offline tigerfan41

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2017, 05:23:47 AM »
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they did nothing illegal.  they used the tax laws to their advantage.  they've paid plenty of taxes in their lifetime.

This. What the critics fail to realize is at some point, U2 became a business rather than just 4 people in a band. As such, they treat their finances as a business would and, you guessed it, take advantage of tax laws as a business would. Which includes setting up headquarters in a place that doesn't charge a lot of business taxes.

HOWEVER, the band members themselves DO pay taxes in their homeland and presumably wherever else they live. And probably a lot of taxes, too, as they 4 of the wealthiest musicians in the world.

Offline Ronan

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2017, 01:55:24 AM »
They also funded the Music Generation programme in Ireland.

Offline paganini12345

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2017, 05:46:35 PM »
So do the people who don't have a problem with U2 moving their business and paying less tax also not have a problem with the likes of Amazon and starbucks etc paying either little or no tax?


Offline miaveni

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2017, 07:50:36 AM »
Ireland did themselves in because they had...and may still have a law that gave artists a pass on paying taxes... the country never thought they would have one of their own become so huge, (making more than the countries gross national product) ha ha ha    Then typical Irish style, where you give no credit to your own, the country turned around and said " Hey wait a second, Now you should pay taxes"   If Ireland were smart they would have made a deal with U2...U2 was willing to pay......just not the crazy amount the country wanted....Ireland would still have made billions on tourism and the music business. It was foolish and the country missed out.  U2 is still here, still making billions, and Ireland is sitting there crying like babies..

Offline ShankAsu

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 09:19:01 AM »
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So do the people who don't have a problem with U2 moving their business and paying less tax also not have a problem with the likes of Amazon and starbucks etc paying either little or no tax?
I have no clue what any company pays for taxes or what their rate is, but as long as any business or corporation isn't breaking the law and cheating the tax system, then why would anyone have a problem with it.  If you have an issue with how much anyone pays in taxes, blame the laws not the businesses.  The goal of businesses are to make a profit, not pay taxes- unless you're running a charity (but even then taxes are not charity).  Long as companies and individuals follow the book on what they declare and pay, why begrudge them?

Offline DGordon1

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2017, 09:42:34 AM »
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So do the people who don't have a problem with U2 moving their business and paying less tax also not have a problem with the likes of Amazon and starbucks etc paying either little or no tax?
I have no clue what any company pays for taxes or what their rate is, but as long as any business or corporation isn't breaking the law and cheating the tax system, then why would anyone have a problem with it.  If you have an issue with how much anyone pays in taxes, blame the laws not the businesses.  The goal of businesses are to make a profit, not pay taxes- unless you're running a charity (but even then taxes are not charity).  Long as companies and individuals follow the book on what they declare and pay, why begrudge them?

There are lots of things that are inethical, which may not be illegal. Doesn't mean you should be immune from criticism for doing it.

Offline ShankAsu

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 11:41:23 AM »
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So do the people who don't have a problem with U2 moving their business and paying less tax also not have a problem with the likes of Amazon and starbucks etc paying either little or no tax?
I have no clue what any company pays for taxes or what their rate is, but as long as any business or corporation isn't breaking the law and cheating the tax system, then why would anyone have a problem with it.  If you have an issue with how much anyone pays in taxes, blame the laws not the businesses.  The goal of businesses are to make a profit, not pay taxes- unless you're running a charity (but even then taxes are not charity).  Long as companies and individuals follow the book on what they declare and pay, why begrudge them?

There are lots of things that are inethical, which may not be illegal. Doesn't mean you should be immune from criticism for doing it.
but if you're following the law- how is that unethical exactly?  I think that argument is going to be more a matter of opinion and a debate on semantics.  Again- blame the tax codes if you don't like them, not the people who follow them lawfully.

Offline miryclay

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2017, 12:00:13 PM »
Ireland is also very different than the US when it comes to 'the culture' regarding taxes. From my observations, though not exclusively, it seems many Americans dutifully pay taxes and might be proud of it. Whereas in Europe and Ireland there seems to be systemic dependency generation after generation and 'angling' to pay as little as possible for those that do. I also find Europeans have less respect for Intellectual Property as Americans do (which seems to be the highest in the world in that category).   

Offline DGordon1

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 06:39:45 AM »
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So do the people who don't have a problem with U2 moving their business and paying less tax also not have a problem with the likes of Amazon and starbucks etc paying either little or no tax?
I have no clue what any company pays for taxes or what their rate is, but as long as any business or corporation isn't breaking the law and cheating the tax system, then why would anyone have a problem with it.  If you have an issue with how much anyone pays in taxes, blame the laws not the businesses.  The goal of businesses are to make a profit, not pay taxes- unless you're running a charity (but even then taxes are not charity).  Long as companies and individuals follow the book on what they declare and pay, why begrudge them?

There are lots of things that are inethical, which may not be illegal. Doesn't mean you should be immune from criticism for doing it.
but if you're following the law- how is that unethical exactly?  I think that argument is going to be more a matter of opinion and a debate on semantics.  Again- blame the tax codes if you don't like them, not the people who follow them lawfully.

Well I'd say companies that undertake elaborate schemes involving fake companies etc to artificially lessen their tax burden is absolutely unethical, I don't see how anyone can honestly sayotherwise.

Some practices are legal only because the legislative process is playing catch up with these guys, and once the loopholes are closed it will be illegal. So how can the same process be unethical prior to legislative changes, and unethical afterwards. The legality may have changed, but if it's a sh***y thing to do afterwards, it was still a sh***y thing to do beforehand.

To an extent ethics is subjective, based on everyone's own moral compass. FYI I don't think that what U2 did was all that bad at all, I'm referring more to the behaviours of the likes of Amazon and Starbucks. Tax avoidance on an industrial scale.

Offline DGordon1

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Re: U2 and Taxes
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2017, 06:47:11 AM »
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Ireland is also very different than the US when it comes to 'the culture' regarding taxes. From my observations, though not exclusively, it seems many Americans dutifully pay taxes and might be proud of it. Whereas in Europe and Ireland there seems to be systemic dependency generation after generation and 'angling' to pay as little as possible for those that do. I also find Europeans have less respect for Intellectual Property as Americans do (which seems to be the highest in the world in that category).   

I disagree with this. The idea of everyone paying into a national health service for example, is a cherished and an almost universally-agreed upon notion in the UK, yet in the US it's massively controversial. The UK also has a larger welfare bill than the US in terms of proportion of taxation, although this is a more contentious point among people. Obviously things vary quite a lot throughout Europe, so what you say may apply more to other countries.