Thursday, January 03, 2013

Depardieu on Punishing French Taxes: Nyet!

Gerard Depardieu, a famous French actor, was in the news recently for his move to Belgium, which put him beyond the reach of a 75% income tax that had been imposed in France (this tax was recently struck down by French courts, but will be re-written and reestablished by the folks who created it in the first place - the tendency of a leech is to hang on, after all). 

Now Depardieu may become a Russian citizen over this. Why? The article I've linked below only hints at the reason:
"The distinctiveness of our tax system is poorly known about in the West. When they know about it, we can expect a massive migration of rich Europeans to Russia," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin bragged on Twitter.
What's unique about it? How about a 13% flat tax on the personal income of Russian residents? That's right, just 13%.

Of course, Russia might not be the nicest place to live, as is also pointed out in the article:
Political analyst Pavel Svyatenkov told the state news agency RIA Novosti that the move was "very good, very high-quality PR for Russia" but he was didn't think it would ignite a flood of new residents.
"I don't expect a massive movement of rich people to here, for the reason that Russia remains a pretty poor country by Western measurements and here there are bigger problems with crime and corruption," he said.
However, low tax rates attract capital, and where capital goes, so too does new business, employment, and increasing standards of living. Russia is a nation rich in natural resources, which combined with foreign investment could create a massive economic boom. For how long then will the above statement have merit? As word spreads of what's going on here, probably not long.

Here's the full AP article: Depardieu, in tax fight, gets Russian citizenship

Perhaps some Russian language lessons would be a good long-term investment?

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