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Where the Stars Hide Their Money

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    This is why I can't stand most of Hollywood. I'm obvioulsy generalizing here, but when some of these tardo's get up on stage and bad mouth, while they're charging $400 for a seat in the bathroom, and sheltering their money like Exxon, it wreeks of arrogance. To me it does anyway. Most of these jokers do some good charity stuff, which is noble, but it's interesting to see how they act just like corporations do when it comes to their own money. They have every right to, but it is interesting none the less.



    Where the Stars Hide Their Money

    Come Visit Your Money, Stay for the Heineken Tour -- the Netherlands Is the Latest Tax Shelter Hot Spot

    By ASWINI ANBURAJAN

    Feb. 14, 2007 — U2, the Rolling Stones, movie stars, sports figures and a host of corporations have 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.

    ........

    "What a group like U2 or the Rolling Stones has done is create a holding company that owns the rights to their songs and their name," Richard LeVine, an international tax expert who counsels corporate and individual clients on asset protection for the Connecticut-based Withers, Bergman LLP, tells ABC News.

    ......

    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.

    The Dutch Federal Bank estimates that in 2002, 3.6 billion euros flowed through such companies.

    The Rolling Stones has taken advantage of the Netherlands tax structures for the past 20 years, with the help of Dutch accountant Johannes Favie, who runs Promogroup, a financial consulting firm. Promogroup has helped the Rolling Stones pay just over $7 million in taxes on earnings of $450 million over the past two decades. In 2005, the rockers paid a tax rate of 1.6 percent on earnings of $172 million.

    ......

    Yankees Need Not Apply


    "This is a fabulous tax saving device for stars that do not have residency in the United States and for multinationals with a large amount of business outside the United States … You won't see Bruce Springsteen or Tiger Woods doing this," says LeVine.


    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=2874992&page=1
  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Funny how progressive artist want taxes to pay for all their heartfelt concernns but don't want it to be their money..

    ROTFLMAO ;)
  3. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    hypocrites. Now that I know this, Bono needs to shut up.
  4. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    Maybe if tax money was going to charitable causes instead of pork and war, I'd be mad. Celebrities DO need to shut up (though they won't), but it has nothing to do with their tax shelters. How many good ol' US corporations (you know, the ones that George Bush always says are the key to our economy) do the same thing? Beating the tax man is very American.
  5. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This is one of the reasons I would favor a flat tax a la S Forbes.
  6. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    I'm not sure if that would alleviate this particular problem (though it would certainly close a large number of the tax loopholes related to exemptions and write-offs we have now). The problem here is that they're creating a foreign shell corporation, giving that corporation ownership of their songs, and then that corporation is earning the income rather than them. No US income, no US income tax.
  7. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    True Pujo, but if the tax rates are totally confiscatory there is less incentive to go to these lengths to avoid taxes.
  8. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    These singers would have gone with a foreign corp regardless of flat taxes. That is a separate issue, in my opinion.
  9. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    And how do you view those same corporations you speak of? You know, the ones that employ millions of americans? When Exxon makes $39 billion politicians want to confiscate their profits, should they therefore make the same demands on Hollywood? Also, tax money is going to charitable causes, what do you think welfare is?
  10. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not to high on a flat tax. I like a consumption tax better. Zillionare's and middle class earners would be taxed far more fairly in this way. Plus, visitors, non-citizens, and foreign stars alike, would all be subject to it regardless of where their shell corporation is registered.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  11. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Economically They are the same thing, I could be fine with either. My bias towards the flat tax is political. I wouldn't want a consumption tax without a repeal of the 16th amendment. In every country where a consumption tax has been implemented the income tax has been reinstated. In addition the consumption tax has morphed into a value added tax.


    I don't trust politicians I guess. I also have a bias towards people having to see exactly how they are paying for their government services.

    I still find the hypocracy of the entertainment nannies funny.
  12. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    Can't say I like celebrities any more than corporations. Actually, they're very similar to me. I use their products/services (whether it be gasoline or songs), but I don't much care for their business practices.
  13. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Whether you support the rules or oppose them, what would be the point of not taking advantage of them? After all, by taking advantage of them, perhaps these artists can make charitable donations in areas where the government falls short.

    To give an analogy, for them not to take advantage, would be like someone who opposes Social Security turning it down.
  14. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    Right, Bono's not saying "give your money to the government so they can help people with it" and then not paying taxes. Bono knows where his tax money goes, and it ain't to the poor. He may or may not be a hypocrite, but this doesn't make him one.
  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I absolutely agree. A consumption tax would have to be done in conjunction with the elimination of income taxes. I like a consumption tax because it would directly relate to the spending ability of an individual, regardless of his income, legallity, or national registration.
  16. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    It would also encourage people to hoard their money rather than spending and infusing it back into the economy, though with how little people are saving these days I'm not sure whether that would be a bad thing or a good thing.
  17. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not following you here. Are you supportive of what they are doing? So then lower my taxes so I can decide whether or not I'll make a charitable donation. Why are you so quick to tax the rich, then defend what these clowns do, by saying their manipulation of their tax obligation free's up money for charity?
  18. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Whether he fits the definition of hypocrite is debatable but given that he's always telling OUR government where it should spend money, he shouldn't be hiding his rightful contribution to it.
  19. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Why would people hoard there money? A rich person would still want to buy a Bentley or Benz right? I'd still buy a car, TV, DVD, etc.. When you figure that I'd be saving $10k in income taxes, what's to hoard? A consumption tax is would be the purest, and fairest form of taxation. The rich, who enjoy luxuries, would pay accordingly, as would those who live a more modest life.
  20. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    But just because Patters supports a high income tax doesn't mean Bono does, he might be in favor of slashing the tax rate so you can spend more of your own money on charity if you were so inclined.

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