France’s Wealth Tax Pushes Millionaires Abroad

| 28 Jan 2013 | 1 Comment

The 75% tax on wealth has finally forced the country’s richest man Bernard Arnault out of France. Head of luxury retailer LVMH group, Bernard Arnault has reported his move from France to Belgium in a bid to protect and secure his £5 billion fortune.

The depletion of France’s billionaires list is thought to have a severe effect on the country’s tax revenue, and with so many taking to offshore locations to protect their wealth, experts reveal that France’s middle and lower classes may bear the brunt.

Bernard Arnault (worth an estimated $41 billion) sought Belgium due to its more favorable tax structures and foundation legislation. The LVMH group controller has established a private foundation ‘Protectinvest’ which is to become operational once he dies. The foundation is thought to prevent his 5 children from selling LVMH shares within the next 10 years, something which foundations in France are as yet unable to guarantee.

The current 75% tax on individuals earning over €1 million is testing the patience of the country’s richest with many contemplating moves overseas to protect their assets.

Speculation surrounds France’s former Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s move to London in an attempt to dodge the 75% tax rate. The controversial move from France to London is said to be due to the former Prime Minister’s plans to establish a £800,000 investment fund.

Following in the footsteps of Nicolas Sarkozy and Bernard Arnault is French acting legend Gerard Depardieu. The actor has relocated to Russia and obtained citizenship, sparking rumours that he intends to settle there permanently.

Local property agent located just outside of Moscow revealed that Depardieu has requested they build him a home made entirely of wood after seeking the beauty of the Russian countryside.

France must recognize the new trend that is emerging amongst the country’s richest men and women, who are fleeing in search of more stable and tax friendly destinations.

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  1. PAUL L COOK says:

    Is there a way we could get a tally of the top 20 richest people in France and total of money lost to the French tax base

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