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Old 24.10.2016, 14:24
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Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

Hello all

Turns out I have a new neighbour. Alexander van Damme (billionaire and main private shareholder of brewery empire AB Inbev) recently bought a 21.000 square meter domain (including a 800m² mansion) in Cheserex and moved in with his family this month.

This topic is causing quite a bit of unrest in my home country (amongst other things ).

Economists were quick to calculate that his decision will cost the state around 70 mio € , explaining that the majority of the taxes are being paid by only 10% of the country's wealthiest people. Rumours about potentially increasing wealth taxes will lead to many more wealthy people departing to safer and more stable "tax havens".

I'm a bit more naive and like to think he just moved here for the fresh air, and the outlook of meeting nice other Belgians like myself.


http://www.xpats.com/belgium-lose-eu...economist-says

Last edited by donpiedro; 24.10.2016 at 14:37.
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Old 24.10.2016, 15:48
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

Doesn't Mr. Ingvar Kamprad live near you as well?

You should see a drop in your local taxes next year, maybe invite van Damme round for a drink, and tell him thanks?
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Old 24.10.2016, 15:50
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

Yes!
J-C will visit sometimes
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Old 24.10.2016, 15:51
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

The cost of dinner

Each and every day, 10 men go to a restaurant for dinner together. The bill for all 10 comes to $100 each day. If the bill were paid the way we pay our taxes, the first four would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1; the sixth would pay $3; the seventh $7; the eighth $12; the ninth $18. The 10th man – the richest – would pay $59. Although the 10 men didn’t share the bill equally, they all seemed content enough with the arrangement – until the restaurant owner threw them a curve.

“You’re all very good customers,” the owner said, “so I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20. I’m going to charge you just $80 in total.” The 10 men looked at each other and seemed genuinely surprised, but quite happy about the news.

The first four men, of course, are unaffected because they weren’t paying anything for their meals anyway. They’ll still eat for free. The big question is how to divvy up the $20 in savings among the remaining six in a way that’s fair for each of them. They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33, but if they subtract that amount from each person’s share, then the fifth and sixth men would end up being paid to eat their meals. The restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each person’s bill by roughly the same percentage, and he proceeded to work out the amounts that each should pay.

The results? The fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $14, leaving the 10th man with a bill of $50 instead of $59. Outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got one dollar out of the $20,” said the sixth man, pointing to the 10th man, “and he got $9!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too! It’s not fair that he got nine times more than me!” “That’s true,” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get back $9 when I only got $2? The rich get all the breaks!” “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine outraged men surrounded the 10th and brutally assaulted him. The next day, he didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they faced a problem that they hadn’t faced before. They were $50 short.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle24441644/
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Old 24.10.2016, 17:37
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

I hear what you say and like the story as depicted above, but I do sometimes wonder when enough is enough. I mean, I just don't understand that when someone's personal wealth is amounting to billions of €, why one would shift countries purely for the purpose of tax evasion (which I am not saying is the case here as Switzerland is a genuinely nice country ?

Seriously, we are talking about more money than a single person (and generations to come) can possibly spend (unless his kids try really hard )?
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Old 24.10.2016, 17:56
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

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I hear what you say and like the story as depicted above, but I do sometimes wonder when enough is enough. I mean, I just don't understand that when someone's personal wealth is amounting to billions of €, why one would shift countries purely for the purpose of tax evasion (which I am not saying is the case here as Switzerland is a genuinely nice country ?

Seriously, we are talking about more money than a single person (and generations to come) can possibly spend (unless his kids try really hard )?
I have a theory, I firmly believe that he moved here for the beer. Since Feldschlösschen Premium is not available in Belgium..or so I heard through the grapevine.
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Old 24.10.2016, 17:59
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

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I hear what you say and like the story as depicted above, but I do sometimes wonder when enough is enough. I mean, I just don't understand that when someone's personal wealth is amounting to billions of €, why one would shift countries purely for the purpose of tax evasion (which I am not saying is the case here as Switzerland is a genuinely nice country ?

Seriously, we are talking about more money than a single person (and generations to come) can possibly spend (unless his kids try really hard )?

To be clear, he is not "tax evading". He has the right to live wherever he wants and to organise his affairs in any way he wants to, including taking advantage of tax regimes that vary between countries. Nothing different that is done by corporations.
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Old 24.10.2016, 18:02
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

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To be clear, he is not "tax evading". He has the right to live wherever he wants and to organise his affairs in any way he wants to, including taking advantage of tax regimes that vary between countries. Nothing different that is done by corporations.
Semantics...
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Old 24.10.2016, 18:03
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

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Doesn't Mr. Ingvar Kamprad live near you as well?

You should see a drop in your local taxes next year, maybe invite van Damme round for a drink, and tell him thanks?
No, he used to live in Épalinges (just above Lausanne). He has since moved back to Sweden (I imagine to run out his days with friends and family).
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Old 24.10.2016, 18:08
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

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Semantics...
Not in the least. Have a Google at tax avoidance, tax evasion, tax planning etc.

The Belgian government is obviously ticked as the cow that they were milking got up and moved to greener pastures on the sunny shores of Lac Léman.

The higher the amounts in discussion, the more motivated the people who can make a move are so inclined. He has no responsibility to fund the Belgian government.
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Old 24.10.2016, 18:13
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

I stand corrected sir! I should have used the word "avoidance" instead of "evasion". Thanks for making me a lot wiser on this topic (really).
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Old 24.10.2016, 18:50
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Re: Wealthiest Belgian moves to Switzerland (VD)

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I hear what you say and like the story as depicted above, but I do sometimes wonder when enough is enough. I mean, I just don't understand that when someone's personal wealth is amounting to billions of €, why one would shift countries purely for the purpose of tax evasion (which I am not saying is the case here as Switzerland is a genuinely nice country ?

Seriously, we are talking about more money than a single person (and generations to come) can possibly spend (unless his kids try really hard )?
There's the privacy-issue as well. He has been described for years as the man without a face (there were zero pictures known of him). A few years ago a French-speaking Belgian journalist managed to pin a face on the man and wrote an article about him (including the picture). Insiders told that the man was enraged (as he is scared to death to be kidnapped). I understand his concerns. It's probably more than just about taxes. It's about living a discreet life, having fiscal rules that are more predictable (in sharp contrast to the Belgian government who has been changing rules related to taxes all the time). Maybe the terrorist threat plays a role as well. Geneva is considered way safer than Brussels.
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