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France

Tax exile Depardieu puts Paris mansion up for sale

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2012-12-13

French actor Gérard Depardieu, under fire for becoming a tax exile, is selling his historic Paris mansion, real estate agents Daniel Féau confirmed on Thursday, amid reports of a 50 million euro price tag.

French actor Gérard Depardieu, amid fierce criticism for expatriating himself to Belgium for tax reasons, has put his palatial Paris residence up for sale, a top Paris estate agent confirmed on Thursday.

Depardieu wants 50 million euros for his “Hôtel Particulier” [a French term for a grand privately-owned town house] in Paris’s posh 6th arrondissement, according to French daily Le Parisien.

The historic Hôtel de Chambon, at the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Près quarter on the left bank of the Seine, is listed exclusively by estate agent Daniel Féau as a “property of 1,800 square metres with adjoining gardens and terraces, with a secondary living area at the other side of the garden”.

Prices per square metre in the upmarket 6th arrondissement can be in excess of 18,000 euros, according to French property site Meilleurs Agents.

Built in 1820 and extensively renovated by the actor in 2003, the property boasts an extensive garden as well as a swimming pool, an almost unheard of luxury in central Paris.

Tax exile

The 63-year-old actor, known to English-speaking audiences for his part in Green Card (1990) and Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), has joined a growing list of France’s top business figures in relocating to Belgium as France’s Socialist government moves to tax incomes over one million euros at 75 per cent.

There are also plans to hike taxes on “grand fortunes” and large inheritances.

Depardieu, who earns up to two million euros per film and has extensive business interests including wine estates and three Paris restaurants, would be hit hard by the new tax rules.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Wednesday denounced his move to the Belgian border village of Néchin as “pathetic”.

Néchin, part of the Estampuis municipality in the French-speaking Walloon region of southern Belgium, is in walking distance from the French border.

Some 2,800 French people already reside in the village, where they enjoy lower income taxes and are free from wealth taxes and capital gains taxes on private fortunes, unlike their compatriots a few hundred metres away.

Estampuis Mayor Daniel Senassael said he was not “naïve” as to Depardieu’s motivation for moving to Néchin, but told reporters the actor had “fallen in love with the friendliness, beauty and high standard of living” enjoyed by the other villagers.

In Europe, taxes are paid according to the rules of the country of residence, rather than by nationality. Once installed in Belgium, Depardieu will not have to file tax returns to the French authorities.

Date created : 2012-12-13

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