Dutch Treat … Where are the Stones, U2 and Other Euro Stars Sheltering their Money? … The Netherlands of course


I guess the Rolling Stones were not kidding when they wrote the song, “Gimme Shelter”. The BonoStones, U2, sports stars, movie celebs as well as corporations have been using The Netherlands as their latest tax shelter. Or should we say tax dodge. Aren’t these the same people that talk about America not doing their part? The same people that claim the US exploits other countries? The tax shelter scheme is most interesting on many levels:

  • The Limousine liberals that tell us what and how to spend our money seem to be hiding their own. Bono tells other to forgive debt when he hides paying his own.
  • Isn’t it Europe that tells the West we are evil capitalists and need to give to the less fortunate? (In 2005, the rockers paid a tax rate of 1.6 percent on earnings of $172 million.”)Gimme shelter
  • The Netherlands strikes again. (FYI: This offer applies only to Europeans. Americans are ineligible.)

Bono, you absolute and complete hypocrite … telling others to forgive debt.

U2′s Bono is pressing on with his two-year-long battle for Third World debt relief, and he hopes to convince the White House and the American people to join the crusade, he said Friday.

… turned to an unlikely accountant, the Netherlands, to help them avoid paying taxes on multimillion dollar profits in their home countries.

Bands like the Rolling Stones and U2 were publicly outed last summer for using tax shelters in the Netherlands to protect the millions they earn on royalties from getting taxed in their respective home countries. (ABC News)

Who needs the Caymans, Bahamas and other more unstable island and South American nations for banking tax shelter? The beautiful and rich people have been doing this for years. The cause celeb in the tax shelter haven has now become The Netherlands.

They are part of a growing number of celebrities who’ve turned to the low-tax, politically stable Netherlands to protect royalties they earn legally from licensing intellectual property — from J.Lo’s derriere to U2′s hit song “One.”

And the Dutch have beckoned by overhauling their tax structure this past year to make it easier and more lucrative for individuals and corporations to set up shell companies that allow income from royalties, interest and dividends to flow in and out of the country tax-free.

The holding companies and corporate shell that are created are merely mailbox companies that allow royalties to be collected in a tax free environment. A rather interesting situation when one contemplates all the whining that Bono has done in that Countries should forgo debt owned from the poorer nations of the world.

“So every time their song is played on the radio, or they sell an album, royalties are paid to their Dutch company, which allows them to collect millions of dollars in royalties tax-free and lowers the profits they’re paying taxes on in their home countries,” LeVine says.

Mailbox companies, or corporate shells, allow companies to channel royalties, dividends and interest payments through the Netherlands. More than 20,000 exist right now, according to a report by the Netherlands-based SOMO, the Center for Research on Multinationals.

Read some of the great comments from Lucianne.com regarding this matter.

The Daily Mail also with some interesting commentary, “Bono! Sinead O’Connor! The limo liberals strike again, preaching their spiel about how governments should do more — especially Bono — while working every angle to miserly hang on to every penny.”

Also the Tax Professor Blog, Gimme Shelter: Rolling Stones Use Netherlands Tax Shelter to Reduce Tax Rate to 1.5%

over the last 20 years, according to Dutch documents, the three musicians have paid just $7.2 million in taxes on earnings of $450 million that they have channelled through Amsterdam — a tax rate of about 1.5%, well below the British rate of 40%.

Posted February 15, 2007 by
Celebrity, Crime, Economy, World | 20 comments

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  • Comments

    20 Responses to “Dutch Treat … Where are the Stones, U2 and Other Euro Stars Sheltering their Money? … The Netherlands of course”

    1. SunFreak2 on February 15th, 2007 6:48 pm

      It makes me sick to hear of this. Remember when Paul McCartney was mad b/c he was losing royalties when people were downloading free from Napster? How much money do they need? I hate it when I hear some celebrities spen $2000 on shoes or a handbag, and 5 or 6 figure $ on a dress that they only wear once. That money would be better used to feed the poor in AMerica and to help get our citizens off the street. I especially dislike loud mouth celebs like Susan Sarandon & her hubby, and Sean Penn. Just like Tom Cruise, I boycott their movies!!

    2. mrs. red on February 15th, 2007 7:17 pm

      Isn’t it typical? They hate the US citizens but make their money off of us… all while scamming the system.It’s sickening, and all along people will still worship them.

    3. Kat_Gram on February 15th, 2007 7:54 pm

      Bono had the audacity to come to Canada and tell Paul Martin ( our former Prime Minister ) where we Canadians should spend our money i.e. as far as helping out other countries. Why doesn’t he start first and set an example ?What an a*s w*pe this ” Bono ” is.
      And what kind of stupid name is ” Bono ” anyway.
      Bozo suits him better. Irish trash ! ! And I am part Irish and this makes me ashmaed of that.

    4. cara scott on February 15th, 2007 7:57 pm

      ok…In age where rich little girls with even richer bank balances are famous for saying hot& cool…how real&refreshing we have a real star like bono…who gives so much through his talents…both as a singer&fundraiser ;; he has seen the poverty of the poorer nations&given tons of cash to the cash strapped…met many presidents…who cares that he has a netherlands tax shelter…???? I cant recall any other stars who have have given so much…give Bono a break…

    5. Scared Monkeys on February 15th, 2007 9:19 pm







    6. Maggie on February 15th, 2007 10:09 pm

      Never was a Bono fan.. Exactly right, with all of them it’s do as I say, not as I do.

    7. Miss-Underesitmated on February 15th, 2007 10:26 pm

      Yes the “Do as I say not as I do era”

      Greed in the first degree,
      Can we say “hypocrites”

      I’ll rethink my music preferences. Welcome to the Dixie Chick Club.

    8. Brad on February 16th, 2007 4:22 am

      Wow! This blog used to be about Natalie Holloway, its turning into a Neo Conservative propaganda machine.


      SM: No, the site was always about a lot of things. Guess the post hit home you being from the Netherlands and all?


    9. Brad on February 16th, 2007 9:06 am

      Nó I am most certainly not a cloggy, but I know plenty of good people that are. They always seem a nice bunch, if you exclude the Van der Sloots and the Aruba authorities of course.

    10. SL-Gloria on February 16th, 2007 9:42 am

      Implying that if there is a country where rock stars can avoid taxes it obviously has to be The Netherlands, is a weak a syllogism as trying to infer that Americans can’t benefit from tax evasion, because the fiscal benefit offered The Netherlands is only for Europeans. The truth of the matter is that more than ever, due to a global economy, more individuals, corporations and organizations -including American rock stars and other rich and famous- benefit from tax incentives and well-known havens around the world.

      We have all heard of the Caymans, Bermuda, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Switzerland, Panama and, among others, the State of Delaware. This state, for instance, offers tax exemption on inventories and process machineries to entities incorporated in the state …precisely corporations that never open facilities in Delaware, but establish plants around the world to take advantage of domestic incentives, off-shore tax-free production and super cheap labor, all at the cost of the American work force as well as the American economy; the low production costs are not transferred to the final consumer as lower prices.

      So things are not as simple as “…The Netherlands of course”. I understand the title of this publication is directed to a group of aspiring influencers centered on an anti-Aruba, anti-Dutch attitude, because of the events around the Natalee Holloway case. I also understand that these publications are not about being fair and balanced, but more about writing about what one wants to, allowing readers to become writers and creating an environment that permits dialogues among potential opinion makers …but the crowd is diminishing drastically, and that should be a hint, assuming that there is an interest in keeping an audience that will hear what is said in this medium. If this is the case, then it’s time to revise the prevailing journalistic perspective of Scared Monkeys.

    11. Brad on February 16th, 2007 9:46 am

      Nope! However I know several good people that are, they
      all seem pretty nice people. In fact over the years I can never say I have met more nice Americans than Germans or English or French or Korean for that matter, being nice or good people should have very little to do with where one is born in my books.

    12. Brad on February 16th, 2007 9:49 am

      Sorry, filling your blog here, I thought my post had got lost (I guess there is a Superbowl delay), so I wrote a revised version, now both posts turned up, apologies.

    13. Mrs. Red on February 16th, 2007 11:03 am

      Uh, for those of you who don’t know and think you do – Corporations that file in DE still have to pay taxes and they also have to pay taxes to each state they do commerce in.

      Why are you defending hiding $172 million dollars from taxes when lots of businesses don’t even garner that much?

    14. cara scott on February 16th, 2007 12:42 pm

      Hi bono bashers..
      Am taking it most of you can read?? well next time your in a record store read the back of a u2 cd cover…&see how many good causes they give too…compare this to the paris hiltons & brittany spears of the world;;; who at last check spend &do little else but get drunk&forget there under wear…bono has been a great advocate for 3rd world debt,Aids,greenpeace… Yep lots of stars earn lots of money…but cant think of many taht do all the good stuff bono has done…I get so sick of seeing mrs spears opening a starbucks;;doing very little with her fame&money am so happy we have a real star like Bono who gives back to the world.

    15. Miss-Underestimated on February 16th, 2007 1:17 pm


      I don’t hear Paris and B. Spears telling others and the US what to do in the name of Charity. Just think, by evading taxes in their own countries, they are are short changing the very people who they claim we should just wipe out the debt to, the poor.

      It is what it is. If they cared so much they would have a certain amount of generosity (yes by supoorting their countries thru taxes) to their countries.

      Bono in the name of love, pay your taxes

    16. cara scott on February 16th, 2007 1:33 pm

      Enjoyed your post miss!
      However I still maintain unlike lots of the rich list today Bono has Done a ton for the needy;Am thinking B.spears &mrs hilton are too brainless to act as true advocates to raise some awareness of real world Issues… cant somehow Invisage paris meeting world leaders& The pope the way bono did!! Saw a link on the u2 web site where bono&his wife had delivered christmas candy&planted crops..in the mud&poverty am guessing the paris hiltons of the world may break a nail doing the same…sorry not wanting to sound a brittany basher…just makes me cross that a star who has done a great deal unlike the majority of the rich list gets bashed…when I saw them in 2001, in Boston bono begged the crowd to buy a TSHIRT…WHY?? Well it all went to the 3rd world 06 charity…Bye all have a good fiday; Cx

    17. Miss-Underestimated on February 16th, 2007 2:42 pm


      I am glad we can agree to disagree, but all these preach to save the world and the US is evil, should take tips from Warren Buffer and Bill Gates, pay your freegen taxes like all of us and share your wealth.

      Have a good dau

    18. Miss-Underestimated on February 16th, 2007 2:43 pm

      Typing too fast should be Buffet

    19. mrs. red on February 16th, 2007 8:58 pm

      BTW, Brittney Spears gave a butt load of money to the Katrina victims… and then took a whole high school of little girls out and bought them their choice of clothes. Paris, well who knows?

      I am not a BSpears fan exactly, but give the woman her due. And she doesn’t run around telling us what to do with our money.

    20. cara scott on February 18th, 2007 8:35 am

      UMMM;Ok ;
      Lets Give mrs spears her due…in many years to come..mrs bspears will be known for
      Being a fallen princess,
      many marriages
      wearing sweats to her wedding
      driving with baby on lap
      forgetting her underwear
      terrible mtv show
      bald head,see todays papers!
      However the great bono will be remembered for keeping it real,helping 3rd world debt,Aids,homeless, greenpeace,meeting Irish world leaders,uk&us leaders having lived in all 3,of the mentioned countries bono has homes in all &does a ton of charity work…big deal bspers did that..nothing compared to what bono has achieved&continues to do….which was the entire point…dont bash&put a great person in the same brackett as the blond,oops now bald..little girls of pop.ROCK ON BONO…LOVE YA…TAX ACCOUNT &ALL…carax

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