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Depardieu pays six per cent tax rate in Russia after fleeing France

French actor Gérard Depardieu and Russian President Vladimir Putin at Sochi, 5 January 2013
French actor Gérard Depardieu and Russian President Vladimir Putin at Sochi, 5 January 2013 AFP/Mikhail Klimenyev

French actor Gérard Depardieu, who fled France in protest at proposals for a 75 per cent tax rate, is now paying six per cent tax in Russia, a lower rate than the average Russian citizen.

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Depardieu registered as self-employed and filed his first Russian tax form on time in teh Russian republic of Mordovia, according to Russia's Izvestia daily.

Although most Russians pay a flat tax rate of 13 per cent, Depardieu will pay the six per cent tax rate which applies to entrepeneurs with an annual income of less than 1.73 million euros. 

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The 65-year-old actor received a Russian passport granted by Vladimir Putin in early 2013 after he left France in protest over the Socialist government's proposed wealth tax of 75 per cent rate, which was subsequently blocked by the Constitutional Council. 

Last year Depardieu announced plans to open a restaurant and an arts centre in the Mordovian capital, Saransk, but has not been back there since.

"There were plans and they haven't been dropped," Mordovian Information Minister Valery Maresyev told Izvestia. 

Dépardieu will return when he finishes other projects, the minister insisted.

Depardieu has appeared in a Russian sitcom, adverts for a Russian bank and has starred in Viktor, a film shot in Chechnya, the wartorn region that offered to take him in,  and soon to be released in Russia.

He also stars in Abel Ferrara's Welcome to New York, a controversial film based on the scandal surrounding former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, that was released on the internet during the Cannes Film Festival.

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