Ozzy Osbourne disembarks America's US gun violence crazy train—and slips past its taxman

Originally published at: Ozzy Osbourne disembarks America's US gun violence crazy train—and slips past its taxman | Boing Boing


I’m sure rich people everywhere are able to take advantage of tax avoidance schemes, but are taxes actually lower in the UK? Maybe they are, but that would surprise me.

Also, the way this story is being reported varies widely based on the media outlet. Fox is making it sound like Ozzy is leaving the US because crime, in general, is out of control, and not because of mass shootings and gun violence.


“The highest rate of income tax in the US is 37% if you earn over $523k. In the UK, it’s 45% if you earn over £150k.”

And his rate could be down to 10-15% if his income is based on real estate/stocks/investments.

It would seem that it’s not that “he didn’t want to continue paying current taxes to stay in the US”, but more that he didn’t want to pay past-due back taxes, and he’s starting off with a “clean slate” [of unpaid taxes] in the UK.

If “high taxes” were the issue, he’d be moving to Monaco, not the UK.


I rather doubt people at Ozzy’s level of wealth ever pay mere ‘income’ tax. Not if their accountants are any good.


Yeah that’s what I was thinking, which is why I don’t buy the tax story. I’m not sure I buy the gun violence story, either, though. It’s highly unlikely that Ozzy or anyone in his orbit would ever be at risk from that, even living in the US.


However this is spun, the takeaway is that the U.S. is in decline and that keeping residency and perhaps citizenship or a Deleware corporate shield is not worth it for them anymore.

Going back to the UK seems like a horizontal move at best, taking all things into account. Really, though, they’re not going to be spending all their time there either.


Guns, I get but Taxes? Fuck you.


Ozzy Osbourne gave a different reason for wanting to leave to the Mirror earlier this year: In March, the U.K. tabloid reported that Osbourne said “the tax is getting too much” and that while he’d miss Los Angeles, he didn’t want to continue paying current taxes to stay in the U.S.

Complaining to the Daily Mirror about taxes is an odd move too. They are the most reliably pro-Labour newspaper in the UK, even supporting them when they are facing a Tory landslide victory.


A true corner stone of American society, he’ll be missed.


I didn’t even know he was in the US? Oh well.

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Taxes? While growing up, I heard stories of many musicians, including The Rolling Stones, leaving the UK to avoid taxes (I think the tax rate was higher than 50% at the time). It’s strange to hear of a musician moving back to the UK to obtain a bette tax situation.

God bless Ozzie.

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“Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I’m the taxman”

“Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all”

Tax was 95% back when George wrote Taxman for the Beatles. I remember talking to a Brit 20+ years ago and he said it was still 95% at the highest bracket. Not sure what it is today, but I’m sure it’s not 35% or whatever on earned income and 20% on investment income, assuming you don’t use any deductions, loopholes, tax havens, whatever. So, yeah, not taxes.


Tax regimes and rates do change. The Beatles famously wrote about the taxman when some UK marginal rates were 95%. Nothing like that today.

The highest rate of income tax peaked in the Second World War at 99.25%. It was then slightly reduced and was around 90% through the 1950s and 60s.

ETA Darn, ninja’d by @peterrisser by mere seconds.


That’s about how much it was in the US for much of the middle part of the 20th century, Because we actually taxed the rich, rather than assuming that letting the endlessly accumulate wealth at OUR expense, would “grow the economy”. 40 or so years of supply-side bullshit has proven that it is indeed just that - bullshit. We have decaying infrastructure, incredibly levels of debt, failing schools, and the private sector trying to buy off public good for cheap. We’re in a far WORSE place then we were when the most well off among us paid their fair share for the incredible rewards they received.

People who live off investments often pay practically no taxes for the benefits they receive, though I don’t know the rate off the top of my head. The Trump cuts were the latest gift to the ultra-wealthy since the Reagan era.

Tax The Rich GIF by Creative Courage


In California he would be paying ~10% in state taxes as well which would come out to 47%. I’m not sure what local or other taxes are in the UK, but I’m not sure that taxes for the very wealthy are actually much lower in US than the UK (or Canada). But for those taxes you at least get universal health care.

Of course there are a lot of deductions and credits available, but a lot of those are capped. The real way to avoid taxes in the US is to make your money in investment and real estate.


Lemmy ruled!


It was like 95%. It was enough that even I would say too much. I believe the tax laws at the time (probably today as well, I’m not too familiar with UK tax law) also strongly privileged hereditary estates and had them paying far less income than musicians and other people who actually worked for a living. So while I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people making millions of dollars/pounds complaining about taxes, I do think the UK system at the time was incredibly unfair in who they taxed those high rates.

Of course it’s the same in the US now, although lower overall. If you work for a living and are incredibly successful and earn a lot of income you pay (a marginal rate of) 38% federal taxes (37% federal income tax plus 0.9% medicare tax). If you then take that income and invest it and sit on the beach all day while “your money works for you”, you will pay 20% federal taxes, plus you can defer it almost indefinitely. It looks like there is a new medicare tax for investment income of 3.8%, but you can still defer it for years in many cases.


Not necessarily true. Inheritance tax forced many large estates and aristocratic mansions to be sold, or estates broken up, or given to the National Trust (a good thing).


Maybe he meant
paying taxes with nothing but school shootings to show for it.