France - Switzerland

Presidential candidate Sarkozy would strip tax avoiders living abroad of French nationality

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If re elected in May, French president Nicolas Sarkozy will introduce a new rule under which French citizens who move abroad to pay less tax than they would in France must pay the difference in tax to the French state or lose their French nationality.


Sarkozy told viewers on French television channel TF1 last night, that it was “profoundly shocking” that some French people could have “all the advantages [of French nationality] without any inconvenience”.

The United States already has a similar tax rule, he said, while emphasising that there would be no change in the rules for French citizens who work abroad as expats.

Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland are traditionally favourite destinations for French citizens who hope to avoid large tax bills.

The French authorities would certainly have to negotiate with their tax authorities in order to set up such a system.

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