Rolling Stones, U2 management deny tax evasion via Dutch shell companies

Rock bands The Rolling Stones and U2 don't have offices in the Netherlands for tax-evasion purposes, but because of the "specific experience and expertise" the country has to offer, their management said to an investigative committee on Monday, reports.

Jan Favié is talking to an investigating committee, consisting of six Dutch parliamentarians, on Monday as part of the investigation into the Panama Papers. Favié is the director of Promogroup B.V. and U2 Limited, the companies that respectively manage the rights of The Rolling Stones and U2. 

Favié vehemently denied that the two world famous rock bands settled in the Netherlands to pay as little tax as possible. "There are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Both can't be avoided", he said, adding that both Promogroup and U2 limited paid profit tax in the Netherlands. 

He also denied the suggestion that he is in charge of a shell company - a company with little economic activity. "The problem is that there is no good definition for shell companies. They are target companies that are managed by a trust office. We're not that. I also had to explain that to the ladies in our office, they also didn't understand", he said. 

Favié seemed to be working on the committee members' nerves a few hours into the the questioning. When Favié tried to again explain his work in Amsterdam two hours in, CDA committee member Chris van Dam could not hold himself in. "You are deliberately sailing around the questions", he snapped, according to

GroenLinks committee member Tom van der Lee also explained that Favié's companies make use of a so-called double nothing deduction - which means not paying tax on an amount up to two times by using fiscal laws and regulations, according to the newspaper. "A classic example of evasion", Van deer Lee said.