Bono was among the notable people named in the recent Paradise Paper leaks as having invested in a Lithuanian shopping mall via a company based in low-tax Malta as a way to evade taxes. He’s now told The Guardian that he would be “extremely distressed if even as a passive minority investor … anything less than exemplary was done with my name anywhere near it.” The company that Bono invested in is now under investigation in light of the release of the Paradise Papers, and Bono says he was unaware of any wrongdoing. Here’s his statement to The Guardian:
I’ve been assured by those running the company that it is fully tax-compliant, but if that is not the case, I want to know as much as the tax office does, and so I also welcome the audit they have said they will undertake.
I take this stuff very seriously. I have campaigned for the beneficial ownership of offshore companies to be made transparent. Indeed this is why my name is on documents rather than in a trust.
The fact is, I welcome this reporting. It shouldn’t take leaks to understand what’s going on where. There should be public registries so that the press and public can see what governments, like Guernsey, already know.
U2 has faced criticism in the past over their tax arrangements.