These rock stars are using offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes

Rock stars trying to avoid paying taxes? What do you think?

You may have heard about the Pandora Papers, an investigative report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which details how the rich, royal, and famous dodge tax authorities by using offshore accounts and companies in places like the Caymans, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and other countries that promise a low-tax (or no-tax) environment. It’s all very shadowy and secretive.

First of all, none of the people I’m about to mention have broken any laws or been accused of any wrongdoing. They are, however, rich enough to employ armies of lawyers and accountants to find ways to avoid paying taxes. But if they don’t pay, who does? Everyone else.

Elton John, Ringo Starr, and Shakira, all have companies that are little more than a post office box in the BVI, Bahamas, or Panama. Again, nothing illegal here. But the tax avoidance is real.

Others listed in the Pandora Papers include:

  • Former UK Prime Ministry Tony Blair
  • King Abdullah II of Jordan
  • Claudia Schiffer
  • Julio Iglesias
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
  • The presidents of Ukraine, Kenya, and Ecuador

Where will this go? Probably nowhere. Will this result in tax laws changing? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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