One of French cinema's leading lights Gerard Depardieu has got a new home address, registered in Belgium. The actor allegedly followed in the footsteps of a number of French tax exiles that have chosen to move to the neighboring country.
The mayor of the Belgian town of Estaimpus, Burgomaster Daniel Senesael, told RTBF that the actor has acquired property in the village of Nechin.
Depardieu, whose role in a 1990 comedy saw him entering into a marriage of convenience with an American woman in order to get a green card, allegedly paid a visit to Estaimpus in November, to register his purchase.
Le Soir previously reported that Depardieu’s new neighbors could include the Mulliez family, a billionaire clan that owns the giant French retail chain Auchan.
Up to 27 percent of Nechin’s inhabitants are French, according to France’s Le Point magazine. Wealthy families flocked to Belgium after French President François Hollande announced a large tax increase for the country's highest earners.
Belgium has become a tax haven for France's rich, as it doesn’t impose a wealth tax on its residents.
Luxury mogul Bernard Arnault – France's richest man – applied for Belgian citizenship after the Government proposed a 75 percent tax rate for top earners which is due to be introduced in 2013.
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