First, it was French icon Gerard Depardieu departing the European country over planned millionaire taxes on the rich. And now, on Jan. 22, information has surfaced that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is planning to join the famous actor in becoming an expatriate by moving to Britain, and investing a new billion dollar hedge fund outside of France.
Nicolas Sarkozy is preparing to move to London to set up a billion pounds plus investment fund, it was claimed today.
If the move goes ahead, the controversial Frenchman will become the latest to escape a potential top tax rate of 75 per cent in his home country.
He and his former supermodel third wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy would be likely to settle in an affluent district like South Kensington – so becoming the most high profile Gallic celebrity couple in the city. - Mail online
Last year, former President Sarkozy lost his bid to win the national election against progressive socialist Francois Hollande, and moved back into private life as a well to do citizen. However, one of Hollande's first and most controversial platforms was to impose a millionaire tax of 75% of all earnings on citizens making over one million euros per year. Even though this law was thrown out by the Constitutional Council on Dec. 29, the fear of massive taxes on the rich is leading many wealthy elite to seek new refuges to claim as home to avoid a draining of their wealth and earning power.
Becoming an expatriate to avoid taxes is nothing new, and has been the objective of many famous people and institutions in recent years, to include the music band U2. In 2006, the band known for its Irish based anthems left the confines of the green isle to incorporate in Holland, primarily to avoid taxes on their earnings and proceeds.
Additionally, the recent Presidential election in the United States often focused on the offshore accounts held by Republican candidate Mitt Romney, and the assertion that he used foreign countries to avoid larger tax bills by keeping investment earnings outside the confines of the U.S.. While many wealthy Americans use offshore accounts to protect their wealth from tax laws which punish higher earners, very few citizens actually divest their citizenship completely to avoid less than desired government tax legislation.
In less than two months, two well known and highly successful French citizens have implemented actions to leave their home country, primarily tied to policies that seek to confiscate large portions of their earning power through taxation. Like many U.S. companies that moved jobs to China and other nations because of cheaper labor, so too are the rich appearing to hold more allegiance to their earned wealth than to any patriotism for a country that they were born to, and are now seeking to take what they earn to locations that value them as assets, not revenue streams.