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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Celebrity Expatriation Update

A number of posts have discussed expatriation The Local (Switzerland) reports that singer Tina Turner is giving up her US citizenship to become Swiss:
The news was trumpeted by Blick and other Swiss-German newspapers on Friday.
Turner, 73, has lived near Zurich since 1995, making a mansion in Küsnacht, overlooking Lake Zurich, her principal residence.
“I am very happy in Switzerland and I feel at home here,” she told Blick. “I could not imagine a better place to live.”
Blick said Turner, whose real name is Anna Mae Bullock, had to undergo an interview with  officials in Küsnacht before the municipality approved her “naturalization”.
The singer, who has sold 200 million records, first came to Zurich when her longtime partner, German music manager Erwin Bach was transferred to the Swiss city.
The eight-time Grammy Award winner retired from performing in 2009.
A spokesperson for Turner told Blick that she appreciates the cleanliness, orderliness and four seasons of Switzerland.
And the native of Tennessee is reportedly learning German “diligently”.
RT reports:
But her home state in the US appears less enthusiastic about the decision. The mayor of Brownsville, Tenn., said she was “surprised” to hear about Turner’s decision to give up her US citizenship and said it might be time to think about why someone would do that.
“I think anytime a person, whether they’re world-renowned or the most meek and mild, makes a decision to change their citizenship we need to step back and think what causes that decision,” Mayor Jo Matherne told FOX411. But even though the mayor expressed concern about the singer’s US abandonment, she said Turner still keeps in contact with her hometown.
“Tina Turner – as she has gotten worldwide fame – has never forgotten her roots,” Matherne said. “We’ve been in recent contact with some of her people talking about some projects we have in Brownsville.”
Although Turner is estimated to be worth about $200 million and says she wasn’t motivated by taxes, keeping her US citizenship would have forced her to continue paying the IRS, even if she never returns to the US.
For 150 years, Switzerland has also offered tax breaks for foreign millionaires to boost tourism, making them exempt from an income tax and allowing them to pay a flat fee. More than 5,000 foreigners have been using the tax breaks, but opponents of the deal have been gathering signatures to scrap the breaks, putting it up for a popular vote to take place within the next two years.
Four of Switzerland’s 26 cantons – including Zurich – have already scrapped the tax breaks for wealthy foreigners.
During most of her 20 years in Switzerland, Turner benefited from the tax breaks. Although she will now be paying Swiss taxes as a citizen, which are high, she will no longer have to pay American taxes in addition.
Associated Press reports that actor Randy Quaid is in a different situation:
Canadian immigration officials have denied U.S. actor Randy Quaid's request for permanent resident status in Canada.
A Canadian government official confirmed late Saturday that Quaid`s request for permanent status has been denied.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Quaid can appeal the decision to the federal court.
U.S. officials last year refused to seek extradition of the actor and his wife from Canada to face felony vandalism charges in Santa Barbara, California, but authorities in the coastal town say they'll still have the couple arrested if they return to the states.