French rocker Hallyday to remain Swiss tax exile

3rd March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Johnny Hallyday will remain a tax exile in Switzerland despite the country’s plans to abolish lucrative tax breaks for rich foreigners.

GENEVA – Veteran French rock star Johnny Hallyday has no plans to end his spell as a Swiss tax exile, even if Switzerland moves to abolish lucrative tax breaks for rich foreigners.

"I don't mind paying taxes, but there is a limit," Hallyday, 65, told Le Matin, a French-language Swiss newspaper, revealing that he paid just over EUR 600,000 (CHF 891,000) to Swiss tax authorities per year.

Before settling in Switzerland in 2007, he said, "I was paying more than 70 percent (of my income). With what I've paid over my lifetime, I would have been able to support several families for generations".

Special tax breaks have long benefited Switzerland's rich and famous foreign residents. But now many cantons are moving to abolish them, including Zurich where voters decided in February to scrap the rules.

Hallyday said any potential changes to tax laws in his local area, the canton of Berne, would not dissuade him from staying in Switzerland.

"If it changes, it changes. I won't sell my chalet. Aside from all money issues, I like it here," he said, acknowledging however that he actually spends little time there.

"I live in Switzerland...when I'm not working. But I work a lot," he said, adding he also kept a home in Los Angeles for "professional activities" while his wife Laeticia is the registered owner of the couple's Paris residence.

AFP / Expatica

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