TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, March 18, 2013

Actor John Cleese Flees Tax-Free Monaco for High-Tax Britain

The Daily Mail:  Lonely John Cleese flees Monaco:

It has 300 days of sunshine a year, drips with glamour and has been a tax-free haven for 130 years. Which is why comedy legend John Cleese must have celebrated when, last year, he won permission to become one of Monaco’s 32,000 pampered citizens. Faced with crippling alimony bills, the move looked like a financial blessing for Cleese, 73, and his fourth wife Jennifer Wade, 42.

But now the couple have surprised everyone by giving up their Monaco home and returning – at some speed – to London.

What’s more, the pair are conducting an online fire sale of the furniture and artworks left behind in the principality.

Cleese might be glad of the additional funds as, financially, the timing of his about-turn couldn’t be worse. By leaving Monaco before the start of the new tax year, he is liable to pay an entire year’s tax to the Inland Revenue, the very thing he was said to be keen to avoid.

So why the sudden change of heart? One friend told The Mail on Sunday: ‘John went to Monaco for tax reasons but the truth is he was very lonely. In London, he has a tight network of friends who love and support him. His French isn’t very good and he found it hard to plug into the culture.’

(Hat Tip: Bruce Bartlett.)

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This is a Monty Python sketch, right?

Posted by: a stackhouse | Mar 18, 2013 12:50:57 PM

Cleese got wind of this UK tax plan: "To boost the British economy I'd tax all foreigners living abroad. "

Posted by: Woody | Mar 18, 2013 2:04:01 PM

Living in a high-tax location is becoming a status symbol, demonstrating that you can afford to pay those taxes to live where you want to live. As a Californian, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Posted by: AMTbuff | Mar 19, 2013 11:20:52 AM