Excluded BFM Business: Arthur goes into exile in Belgium

Arthur, the famous host of TF1, until now tax resident in France, is now officially resident in Belgium. His fortune is estimated at 200 million euros.

Arthur leaves. The famous TF1 host has decided to leave France and go into exile. He chose Belgium and now officially lives in Uccle, a smart suburb south of Brussels, where many French tax exiles have already settled: Claude François Jr., members of the Taittinger or Mulliez families …

This new official address was declared by Arthur himself a few weeks ago to the Luxembourg authorities. It replaces the address in Paris which he had previously provided.

An exile that is not motivated by gastronomy, climate or landscapes, but most likely for tax reasons.

A jackpot of 305 million euros

For the host – whose real name is Jacques Essebag – has a great fortune: the 229th in France according to Challenges, which estimates it at 200 million euros. This fortune comes from the sale of his 50% in ASP (now Endemol France), which brought him a total of 305 million euros in two phases (80 million euros in 2001, then 225 million euros in 2007).

“For tax purposes, Belgium’s interest is limited in terms of income tax, but there is no tax on wealth, nor on capital gains on securities,” explains Hervé Israel, associate at Holman Fenwick Willan.

When Arthur promised to remain a French taxpayer …

This personal exile in Belgium is the second phase of a relocation process that began a year ago. Arthur began by moving the holding company of his group, the Arthur World Participation Group (AWPG), from France to Luxembourg. Arthur will remain the head of this Luxembourg holding company and will therefore have to provide an official address to the Luxembourg authorities. “The address that a manager states in the articles of association is the manager’s main residence. It corresponds in principle to the manager’s tax residence,” explains tax lawyer Hervé Israel.

Problem: A year ago, Arthur swore to his great gods that this move only concerned his holding company, but not at all on his person. The host had even assured in a press release: “Arthur is a French taxpayer resident, paying his taxes in France, and will continue to do so in the future”. His spokeswoman Françoise Doux added that there is no need to talk about “tax exile”.

Aurélie Filippetti gets angry

If Arthur should calm things down, it’s because the revelation of the relocation of his holding company to Luxembourg had already caused some uproar, especially for Aurélie Filippetti: “Arthur explains that it is not for tax reasons. So he will have to explain why, because I know Luxembourg well, and that is probably not for the climate he goes there.Some people have less civic sense than others.I do not want us to give preferential treatment to people who do not care, not elbows with the vast majority of French people who are not in the same relationship like them in their daily lives, ”said the Minister of Culture on Canal Plus.

The minister had promised to be “on guard” on the orders that France Télévisions would pass on to Arthur. The host then replied that he had not worked for the public service since 1994 …

Several times since April 28, Arthur’s lawyer Axelle Schmitz and his right-hand man Emmanuel Rials (president of Hi FM) has never responded. Her spokeswoman Françoise Doux, for her part, referred to the press release published a year ago, but did not respond to Arthur’s current tax housing. For their part, the city of Uccle and the Belgian Ministry of Finance declined to comment.

Update 12:50: Asked by 20 minutes, Arthur’s press secretary replied: “It’s about privacy, I do not intervene in that area”. She adds that Arthur should not comment on this topic in the coming weeks because he is currently recording abroad.

Update at 15.30: the magazine M Belgium published an article late Wednesday morning indicating that Arthur had also set up a holding company in Belgium intending to own his French operating companies.

Update at 17.50: The mayor of Uccle has confirmed Arthur’s installation in his municipality

Update at 21: originally we had in the article quoted Paul Belmondo as a tax exile in Uccle based on an article by Current values. But his press officer denies that the latter is a tenant or owner of Uccle. For its part current values maintains that Paul Belmondo owns housing in Uccle.

Arthur’s statement to the Luxembourg authorities published by BFMBusiness

Abandonment of French mandates

Arthur has at the same time resigned his directorships in 11 French companies belonging to him: the Satisfaction TV agency (which produces On Friday, everything is allowed), AW Radio (as owner Hi FM), Arthur World Participation Group (AWPG), A World Finance, AW Art, AW Etoile, AW Marceau, AWI, Luzarches la Rigalle, Serenity Films Company and Serenity Fiction. Each time, he is replaced by his longtime right hand man, Judith Aboulkheir.
Tax lawyer Hervé Israel suggests: “giving up his directorships in France reduces activity in France, and accredits to the tax authorities that the tax home is no longer in France”.

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