Rich continue to flee French wealth tax

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The number of taxpayers escaping wealth tax increased to 843 in 2006 – 200 higher than the previous year, reports Le Figaro.

20 May 2008

PARIS - The exodus of the well-heeled seeking to escape France's wealth tax picked up in 2006, with 843 taxpayers holding an estimated EUR 2.8 billion in assets leaving the country, Le Figaro reported Tuesday.

The figure was around 200 higher than in 2005, the daily reported citing the French Senate's budget pointman, Philippe Marini.

The tax is a levy on assets above EUR 770,000 rather than on income, and has forced numerous well-off to take up residency in other countries, such as French rock icon Johnny Hallyday.

Marini suggested raising the minimum threshold to EUR 1 million.

"We have a need for well-off people in our country to invest, create jobs, wealth and finally to pay taxes," said the lawmaker.

As land values rise the tax has also become a bane to many property owners who find that they must pay the tax, known as the ISF, even though their income is modest.

[AFP / Expatica]

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