The Ultimate Tax Break

Français : Gérard Depardieu au festival de Cannes

Depardieu is mad as hell and he isn’t going to take it any more! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

French actor Gerard Depardieu has appeared in more than 190 films since the late 1960s and is a cultural icon in his home country. Or should I say his former home country?

In mid-December, Depardieu stunned his countrymen by abandoning his French citizenship in a controversial letter published in Le Journal du Dimanche.

“Sadly, I no longer belong here,” he wrote, “but I will continue to love the French public, with whom I have shared so many emotions. I’m leaving because you believe that success, creativity, talent — what makes people individual — must be punished.”

Depardieu was reacting to the French government‘s plans to increase taxes on those making more than 1 million euros (roughly $1.3 million) annually to 75%. According to Depardieu, he has already paid 145 million euros over the past 47 years and even paid 85% in 2012.

In a stunning move, Depardieu purchased a home just over the border in Belgium, relinquished his social security benefits to the state and offered to return his French passport. He claimed to be leaving France to become “a true European, a citizen of the world.”

Although the French government is not happy about Depardieu’s move, as well as all the international attention it’s garnered, other world leaders have reached out to offer citizenship to the estranged actor. Belgium was the first to do so, but Russian President Vladimir Putin took it one step further and actually granted him Russian citizenship if he wants it.

Putin posted his official decree to his website: “In accordance with clause ‘a’ of article 89 of the Russian Constitution, the application for Russian citizenship by Gerard Xavier Depardieu born in France in 1948 has been granted.”

Depardieu has not yet applied for Russian citizenship, but given the fact that the federation has a flat tax rate of 13%, I wouldn’t be surprised if he started appearing in Russian films soon.

At a time when everyone seems to be getting screwed by their governments during one of the worst financial crises in human history, it’s nice to know that some people won’t stand for it.

I have never been a Depardieu fan because honestly, I’ve only seen him in the 1990 film “Green Card” and that was because my girlfriend at the time forced me to watch it. But I can say this: the man has tremendous balls and if I wasn’t a fan before, I certainly am now.

Way to stick it to the man, Gerard!

Posted on January 3, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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