The individual who manages intellectual property rights for music groups including the Rolling Stones and U2 has denied that corporate structures were set up in the Netherlands to avoid tax in recent parliamentary testimony.
On June 12, Jan Favie, a director of Promogroup B.V. and U2 Ltd, the companies which manage the two bands’ global IP rights, was called to face questions from the Dutch parliament’s special committee on tax avoidance established after the Panama Papers affair, which includes six members of parliament from across the spectrum of political parties.
However, Favie rejected assertions from members of the panel that the companies were mere “letterbox” companies with little in the way of economic substance in the Netherlands.
“[Letterbox] are target-driven companies which are managed by a trust office. That is not what we are,” he responded.
Favie also rebutted accusations from the panel that the companies were registered in the Netherlands because of its favourable tax treatment of royalty payments, pointing out that they still pay tax on profits in the Netherlands.
Currently, no withholding taxes are imposed on domestic or outgoing royalty payments by the Netherlands.