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Why this expert thinks PewDiePie is dodging taxes

PewDiePie has recently made a financial move that has been seen as an attempt to dodge taxes. According to a report from Input Mag, the 31-year-old YouTube star appointed two new directors to his UK-based company, PewDiePie UK Ltd. The new directors, Andreas Menelaou and Kseniia Milevska, are actually based out of Nicosia, Cyprus — and they have listed a location in Cyprus as their address for all PewDiePie-related business correspondence, rather than a location in the UK.

Input Mag spoke with Nimesh Shah, CEO of London-based accounting firm Blick Rothenberg, about PewDiePie's latest move. According to Shah, it looks as though PewDiePie is attempting to move his accounting outside of the UK in order to minimize the amount of taxes that he has to pay overall.

"From a tax perspective, what I think they're trying to do is they're trying to migrate this UK company to Cyprus," Shah explained. "If the decisions, the overall management, and strategic decisions are conducted outside the UK, you can migrate that company outside the UK for tax purposes, and therefore the UK lets go of it and corporation tax."

It should be noted that this is purely conjecture on Shah's part. It could be that the tax cuts have nothing at all to do with the decision to move PewDiePie's taxes to an offshore account. However, as noted by Input Mag, moving PewDiePie's business dealings to an office outside of the UK could potentially save him a whopping 12.5% in corporation taxes. Considering PewDiePie's significant income flow, that's a good chunk of change. However, Shah mentioned that this plan is not foolproof. There's still a chance that PewDiePie would have to continue to pay UK taxes, if a portion of the company's control is still based in the UK.

While this business strategy may sound sneaky, it is also not an illegal move on PewDiePie's part. In fact, the official website for Andreas Menelaou's firm touts the fact that the Republic of Cyprus has alluring tax incentives that have "transformed [it] into an international financial center." It makes sense that more businesses could be looking for loopholes like this, especially when they currently stand to pay a significant amount back in taxes.

YouTuber Kwebbelkop also spoke to Input Mag, attempting to lend some perspective. Though Kwebbelkop explained that he hasn't avoided taxes in any way, he said he can see why PewDiePie might make a move like this. "When you're talking about the top-of-the-line best YouTubers out there like PewDiePie, that's when most of them are going to start considering looking for ways to minimize the amount of money they have to pay. A lot of people try to keep it as secret as possible because it can be damaging for their reputation if it's twisted in a negative light."

Taxes have been a hot topic for discussion within the last year among content creators. A few months back, Ninja ranted about how frustrating it was that roughly half of his income was being paid in taxes every year. Ninja received a bit of negative backlash from that discussion, just as Kwebbelkop said that PewDiePie might. Meanwhile, it appears as though some people on Twitter are already expecting PewDiePie's business dealings to cause controversy.

As of this writing, there has been no response from PewDiePie or his representatives regarding the report from Input Mag.