The Edge Defends U2's Tax Practices In Angry Letter To Baltimore Sun

The Edge defends U2's tax practices in angry letter to Baltimore Sun rebuffing the latest allegations against his buddy Bono and the rest of the band.

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After nearly two years into their mammoth 360 World Tour, you have to assume U2 are getting a little sick of life on the road. And the rockers are most definitely getting sick of being targeted for tax evasion, as evidenced by The Edge's angry letter to the Baltimore Sun rebuffing the latest allegations against his buddy Bono and the rest of the band.

"It contains so many inaccuracies that it is pointless to correct them all", the Edge wrote in response to a July 7 letter sent to the paper from reader Simon Moroney, a Baltimore federal worker, who criticized Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin for his support of Bono's anti-poverty ONE campaign (describing it as a "lobbying group with no mandate or accountability") and stated "Paul Hewson, aka Bono, exemplifies the worst characteristics of Wall Street, both for excess and tax evasion."

"But the most serious inaccuracy is the totally false and possibly libelous accusation that U2 and Bono have, by moving a part of their business activities to Holland, been involved in tax evasion", The Edge wrote (as reported by U2 fan site atu2.com).

"For the record, U2 and the individual band members have a totally clean record with every jurisdiction to which they are required to pay tax and have never been and will never be involved in tax evasion."

"Contrary to what Mr. Moroney writes", he continued, "Ireland is, thankfully, not bankrupt. Had he bothered to contact the Irish Ministry of Finance, as did Spin magazine journalist Steve Kandrell for his March 25th 2009 feature on U2, he would have discovered that they have no problem with U2 basing some of their business activities in Holland."

The Edge also slammed the letter on the grounds that "U2 and its members have paid many, many millions of dollars in taxes to the United States Internal Revenue Service over the years."

So is this war of words worthy of a libel suit against Moroney? Perhaps, but we'll have to wait on U2 to see what comes of this public tongue-lashing. Either way, it's not a happy follow-up to the protest of their headlining Glastonbury Festival performance last month, which saw members of a group called Art Uncut slagged U2 (with the help of a giant balloon) on similar grounds.

Good thing the rockers only have a few more dates left on their non-stop 360 trek (the tour wraps up July 30 in Moncton, New Brunswick) as it seems like the guys could use a time-out from the spotlight.

Watch U2 perform at Glastonbury 2011:

Thanks for the report to Spinner.com.

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    b_flo
    Everyone will find ways to lower their taxes thru tax write-offs and deductibles. It's so common for even the typical business owner to even mark "business function" on their dinner receipts obtained from dining out with the family. Others are like job related expenses. For example, people in a 'working band' claim CD's, concert tickets, music gear, gas, lodging, food, etc, as deductibles. Those great sounding bands that fail, often fail through the financial/business aspect of the business, which is sad. They end up owing more than earning their well-deserved pay. It would be advisable for at least one or two members of a band to take up accounting/business classes, if this is going to be a source of income for them and their families. The one thing that a lot of bands forget. It will totally screw you over if you're touring anywhere. ALL touring bands are like imports...they pay taxes/permits/licensing for all the merch. and tickets they sell in EVERY country they play in.
    Trent Armitage
    You'd expect stupid stuff like this from tabloids, I mean, I've looked at it, and its not even tax evasion, its just moving the business to a different country, I'm pretty sure U2 isn't the first and is far from the last band or group to do this.
    b_flo
    Even that group UnCut would be doing tax write-offs/deductibles on their end...whether it's business or personal use. Hypocritical IMHO.
    CrawlingHorror
    During the 1970's and 1980's all kinds of bands from Australia and England lived overseas as so-called "tax exiles." So that U2 may (or may not) have done so isn't too much of a surprise to me. Also, as a side note, Edge tried to erect a housing development in Malibu (I admittedly don't know the particulars, so I have no real opinion about it), but I think the locals shot it down.
    b_flo
    CrawlingHorror wrote: During the 1970's and 1980's all kinds of bands from Australia and England lived overseas as so-called "tax exiles." So that U2 may (or may not) have done so isn't too much of a surprise to me. Also, as a side note, Edge tried to erect a housing development in Malibu (I admittedly don't know the particulars, so I have no real opinion about it), but I think the locals shot it down.
    Yes, they did shot it down.