Johnny Depp Left France To Avoid The Tax Man

American citizenship came in handy for Johnny Depp after all.

France’s new socialist president Francois Hollande promised, if elected, to increase the tax rate on rich people (those earning the equivalent of over $1.28 million USD) to 75 percent, but Johnny Depp didn’t stay around for the laws to be changed.

The A-List actor, who in the past has been highly critical of American culture and has described the US as “dumb” while heaping praise on his adopted home of France, moved back here anyway well before the election.

In a past interview with the UK Guardian, the actor — who recently split from partner Vanessa Paradis, the mother of his two kids — explained:

” ‘[Because] France wanted a piece of me. They wanted me to become a permanent resident. Permanent residency status – which changes everything. They just want,’ and he mimes peeling off notes in his palm. ‘Dough. Money.’

“If Depp spends more than 183 days in France, he explains indignantly, he’d have to start paying income tax. ‘I’m certainly not ready to give up my American citizenship. You don’t have to give up your American citizenship,’ he adds sarcastically, but then he’d have to pay tax in both countries, ‘so you essentially work for free.’ “

In a prior interview with Magweb.com, Johnny Depp — who apparently owns or owned homes in Paris, the Bahamas, and the south of France as well as in Los Angeles — acknowledged that he tries to minimize his tax liability:

“The actor admitted that he always carefully calculates how many days he can spend in his second home in France to avoid paying taxes. By law, it must share revenues with the French government only if he spends more than 183 days a year, or about 6 months in the country. Thus, an actor completely legally evades taxes.”

The French president, whose approval ratings have nose-dived since the May election, may or may not be watering down his high-tax proposal. One nonsensical amendment is to exempt soccer players and rock stars from the 75 percent tax rate. In the meantime, entrepreneurs and wealthy investors are apparently fleeing France, thereby taking middle-class jobs with them. In class warfare, the actual casualties are the middle class.

Here is a report from the BBC on France’s “soak the rich” tax controversy:

Do you think that Johnny Depp, who has expressed criticism of capitalism, is a hypocrite when it comes to paying taxes?