Depardieu joins long list of French tax exiles 影星德巴狄厄加入法國避稅者行列

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 - Page 10

A tax exile row between millionaire movie star Gerard Depardieu and the Socialist government of President Francois Hollande hides a much older problem with French taxes.

To be sure, Hollande’s headline-grabbing 75 percent income tax band may well be prompting well-off French to consider lives as exiles in Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland or Britain.

But in moving to Belgium, Depardieu, like thousands before him, was only rebelling against far more entrenched French tax rules built up over decades by governments of all political stripes and which the exiles argue punish talent and effort.

For some champions of business, entertainment and finance, the fact that they can pay much less in neighboring countries has won the day over national solidarity.

Yet while the wealth tax was introduced by Hollande’s Socialist mentor Francois Mitterrand in the 1980s, it really began to bite when conservative former prime minister Alain Juppe removed upper limits on total wealth tax bills in 1997.

(Liberty Times)

百萬富翁影星傑哈‧德巴狄厄和法國總統法蘭索瓦‧歐蘭德所領導的社會黨政府之間的避稅爭議,其實隱藏著法國稅務政策的更長久問題。

無疑地,歐蘭德所提出的百分之七十五所得稅率不但引起媒體高度關注,更導致許多法國富人考慮搬到比利時、盧森堡、瑞士或英國等國避稅。

但決定搬到比利時的德巴狄厄,跟在他之前的數千人一樣,其實都是在對抗更根深柢固的法國稅務法,這些法律是由各黨派政府歷經數十年時間所制訂,避稅者認為這種法律只是在懲罰有天份又努力工作的人。

對某些商界、娛樂界和金融業鉅子而言,只要搬到鄰近國家就可以大幅減少繳交稅款的事實,終究戰勝了民族團結心。

但儘管富人稅是由歐蘭德的社會黨前輩密特朗總統於八零年代所引進,卻是到保守派前總理亞蘭‧居沛任內才真正開始產生影響,因為居沛於一九九七年刪除了富人稅法案的課稅上限。

(自由時報/翻譯:俞智敏)