Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Eric Clapton: Those Rich and Famous Blues Again

One's mental image of a tax dodger is generally that of some fat cat banker, executive, oligarch or exploiter of child labour. But, of course, they are not the only ones at it. Not surprisingly, anyone with  loadsamoney is up to these kind of tricks, not least guitar whizz Eric 'Slowhand' Clapton. He channels his loot through a company called Marshbrook, from which he pays himself a salary and, occasionally, a dividend. Marshbrook's revenue last year was £12 million but the company made an overall loss of £924,225 so I guess there'll be no UK Corporation Tax to pay. How did Marshbrook lose money? Well, through Marshbrook Eric owns a yacht which can be rented for £179,000 per week (it's quite flashy, with a crew of 13). But the yacht renting business hasn't been good recently so the yacht has been losing Eric's company a fair whack, and Marshbrook has had to pay taxes overseas of £482,000. Meanwhile, Marshbrook paid Eric a salary of £3.98 million so he's not about to start pawning his guitars yet; and he presumably has to pay UK income tax on that unless he's somehow got himself classified as not resident in the UK. Maybe he lives on the yacht while it's not being rented. No wonder concert ticket prices are so high these days.
Eric is not a complete crook, however. He did pay £10 million in tax arrears in 2004 - whilst paying himself £11 million salary. See This Is Money.

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