The Real Problem With Musician’s Tax Avoidance
THERE’S quite the kerfuffle in musicville, after it turned out that a number of wealthy musicians were ferreting their money away in tax avoidance schemes.
Lazy people are vomiting into their hands about how awful it all is, while even lazier fans of said bands are saying “CUH! LIKE YOU WOULDN’T AVOID TAX IF YOU COULD!”, despite the fact most people can’t, don’t and wouldn’t.
All four members of Arctic Monkeys, George Michael, Gary Barlow, Katie Melua have been named as hiding their millions from HMRC.
A secret database leaked to The Times newspaper revealed around 1,600 people who tried to rest £1.2billion through an ‘aggressive tax avoidance scheme’ known as the ‘Liberty’ tax strategy. Seems George Michael tried to shelter £6.2 million through the scheme.
Rockstars having an issue with tax is nothing new – The Rolling Stones dedicated an entire album to it (‘Exile On Main Street’, if you’re wondering) and other artists have cried foul and upped sticks when politicians have gone after their riches.
However, the most infuriating element about this current lot is not really that they’ve avoided paying their tax thanks to a sly accountant. That’s barely the issue at all.
The problem here, is that these people are so thunderously boring with their extra wealth.
A proper rockstar would have the decency to use their money to have decaying manors in South America, wild studios made out of a toasters, clothes made entirely from jewels and crazy religious beliefs that required them to pay money to some shaman from Coventry pretending he’s an Egyptian god.
Instead, in the case of Arctic Monkeys, we’ve got four tedious lads with quiffs and leather jackets. They could be using their money to do something rock-starry and stupid, like make a recording studio that flies around in space, so bands can record albums in zero gravity.
They prefer to just stand their, in their shoes, and say ‘that ol’ rock ‘n’ roll eh?’ at award ceremonies.
At least, in the case of George Michael, he’s got the chutzpah to be so rich and tax-avoidy that he spends his time getting stoned out of his box and hurtling his car face first into a camera shop.
Gary Barlow and Katie Melua have all the tedium and vim of a religious studies teacher sat quietly on a work’s night out, refusing to drink and politely smiling at jokes they don’t understand.
Surely no-one would begrudge these popstars for avoiding tax if they lived their lives more like Elton John in the ’70s, or had Liberace-style wardrobes?
Shape yourselves up rockstars – avoiding tax is one thing, but being a boring git at the same time is quite another.