Tax exile? Gerard Depardieu to leave France for Belgium

Actor is the latest high profile figure to leave France after a series of wealth tax hikes

Gerard Depardieu is to leave his French homeland for Belgium in order to pay less tax.

The actor is the latest high profile figure to leave France after a series of wealth tax hikes by President Francois Hollande.

According to the local mayor Daniel Senesael, Depardieu has bought a house in the Belgian village of Nechin near the French border. He has also apparently enquired about procedures for acquiring Belgian residency.

Senesael said Depardieu would join some 2,800 French living in the same area a few minutes’ drive from the border, including the Mulliez family, owners of French hypermarket chain Auchan and Decathlon sports stores, who have lived there for years.

Belgian residents do not pay capital gains tax on the sale of shares or wealth tax.

In France, however, individuals with assets over €1.3 million have to pay a hefty wealth tax.

“I think he wanted to enjoy the atmosphere in Belgium, our identity, the rural, bucolic setting,” Senesael told RTL radio.

For Depardieu, best known for his roles as Obelix in the French “Asterix” films and as Cyrano de Bergerac in the 1990 film of the same name, the move will do nothing to improve his image, already tarnished by a series of embarrassing incidents.

Just last week, Depardieu was arrested for driving under the influence after falling of his scooter in Paris, while in August a car driver filed a legal complaint for assault and battery against him following an altercation in the capital.

He also controversially appears on new single by Googoosha, AKA Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of Uzbekistan's brutal dictator Islam Karimov. Earlier this year there were reports Depardieu will also star in a film by Karimova, who is one of the world's richest women.

And last year, he was thrown off a Paris to Dublin CityJet flight for urinating on the floor after exclaiming "I need to piss, I need to piss".

Cabin crew had apparently refused to allow him to go the lavatory while the plane was still on the runway awaiting take-off.

Depardieu later blamed the incident of "prostate problems", and claimed he simply urinated into a bottle that overflowed.

Tax exiles: the French who fled

Mulliez family

Depardieu’s 2,800 French expat neighbours include the billionaire owners of Decathlon sports and Auchan supermarkets.

Johnny Hallyday

The crooner was refused Belgian citizenship so joined other French luminaries such as Alain Delon by moving to Switzerland.

Bernard Arnault

France’s richest man and head of the LVMH luxury goods empire is also relocating to Belgium.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

Ashdown Group: Microsoft Dynamics Consultant - Watford - £65,000 + Bonus.

£50000 - £65000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: Dynamics Expert...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - London - up to £48,000

£38000 - £48000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Senior ...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower