PARIS (AP) — France's Socialist government is introducing a 75-percent income tax on those earning over €1 million ($1.3 million), leading some of the country's rich and famous to set up residency in less fiscally demanding countries.
Here's a look at some big names in France and elsewhere whose changes of address over the years have meant lighter taxes.
The French prime minister has accused actor Gerard Depardieu of being "pathetic" and "unpatriotic," saying he set up residence in a small village just across the border in neighboring Belgium to avoid paying taxes in France.
The office of the mayor in Depardieu's new haunts at Nechin, also known as the "millionaire's village" for its appeal to high-earning Frenchmen, said that for people with high income, like Depardieu, the Belgian tax system, capped at 50 percent, is more attractive.
Depardieu, who has played in more than 100 films, including "Green Card" and "Cyrano de Bergerac," has not commented publicly on the matter.
In 2005, the Beatles' Ringo Starr took up residency in Monaco, where he gets to keep a higher percentage of royalties than he would in Britain or Los Angeles. France's tiny neighbor Monaco, with zero percent income tax for most people, has obvious appeal for the 72-year-old drummer and his estimated $240 million fortune.
The Beatles' resentment of high taxes goes back to their 1960s song "Taxman." George Harrison penned it in protest of the British government's 95 percent supertax on the rich, evoked by the lyrics: "There's one for you, nineteen for me."
Harrison reportedly said later, "'Taxman' was when I first realized that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes."
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