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And the New Internationalist Award for Most Artful Tax Dodger goes to...

‘I have to come clean; I’ve broken a lot of laws, and the ones I haven’t I’ve certainly thought about. I have sinned in thought, word, and deed. God forgive me. Actually God forgave me, but why would you? I'm here getting a doctorate, getting respectable, getting in the good graces of the powers that be, I hope it sends you students a powerful message: Crime does pay.’ – Bono addressing students at the University of Pennsylvania, 17 May 2004.

Image: Tom Worth

U2 may have missed out on being named Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe awards, but Bono now has another title to make up for it: Most Artful Tax Dodger, as voted by New Internationalist readers. His prize for the title? – a packet of Jammy Dodger biscuits!

Despite Bono’s posturing on global justice, it seems he would Do Anything to dodge paying the tax he owes. This is just one example of a global system that allows the rich to skip paying tax whilst the rest of us pick up the bill. With the economy in meltdown New Internationalist readers have shown they think the time is ripe for an end to this injustice. That would be a truly Beautiful Day!

Estimates suggest that the world’s wealthiest individuals dodge over US$250 billion dollars each year in tax. This far exceeds what the UN has asked for its Millennium Development Goals to tackle global poverty - a cause Bono has been so closely linked to.

Runners-up in the poll were Tesco, Rupert Murdoch and the British Monarchy.

Find out what prompted people to vote for Bono and read more on the other nominees for Most Artful Tax Dodger.

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Tax justice and the global fiddle
A ‘consensus’ on taxation has been imposed worldwide. David Ransom wonders how an agreement can ever have been reached between people who never even knew it existed. Private equity tycoon Guy Hands, head of the troubled entertainment group EMI, must have reckoned he was finally on to a sure-fire winner. For every dollar he invested in a film called Crust – about a two-metre-long shrimp – he expected to recover US$1.40 in tax relief. Continue reading...

New Internationalist Tax Justice Issue416Read the special issue of New Internationalist on Tax Justice available online now.

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