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Schumacher: I'll leave Switzerland over taxes
Photo: DPA

Schumacher: I'll leave Switzerland over taxes

Published: 22 Oct 2012 15:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Oct 2012 15:16 GMT+02:00

Formula 1 legend and tax exile Michael Schumacher says he is prepared to move out of Switzerland if tax breaks granted to foreigners are abolished.

On Friday, a left-wing alliance filed 106,000 signatures backing a popular initiative to halt “tax privileges for millionaires”.

The proposal, if accepted by voters, would eliminate the financial breaks received by foreigners such as Schumacher who do not have to pay taxes on income they earn outside of Switzerland.

The motor racing star, a resident of Gland in the canton of Vaud, told Der Sonntag newspaper he hoped such a measure would not be approved in Switzerland.

The seven-time world champion, who earlier this month announced he would retire at the end of this season, told the newspaper that he regarded himself as a “jet-setter” who did business all around the world, but not in Switzerland.

It was earlier reported, however, that he signed a sponsorship deal with Swiss fashion groups Navyboot and Jet Set worth more than $5 million a year.

Schumacher said he could imagine that many wealthy foreigners like him would leave the country if the tax deal ended.

“They will probably move, one after another, to no longer stay in Switzerland,” he said.

Schumacher said he does pay “lump sum” taxes, plus the wages of his Swiss employees.

If foreigners leave the country, ordinary taxpayers will have to make up the difference in revenues, he suggested.

Schumacher has been resident of Switzerland for 20 years. He was listed earlier this year as the second wealthiest sportsman in the world by The Sunday Times newspaper, which estimated his net worth at €626 million.

His official residence, built in 2008 and valued at 35 million francs, is a sprawling waterfront estate overlooking Lake Geneva.

He is among 5,500 wealthy foreigners in Switzerland -- including other F1 stars such as Briton Lewis Hamilton (a Geneva resident) -- who benefit from low taxes because their income is earned abroad.

Several cantons, including Zurich and Basel, have already decided to end such tax breaks.

Malcolm Curtis

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:28 October 22, 2012 by BobbyBaxter
The simple solution is for each country to have a blanket 25% income tax.
18:11 October 22, 2012 by sonriete
what a cheapskate. even if he paid full Swiss taxes, theirs are so much lower than elsewhere in Europe.
18:16 October 22, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Solution is simple, become Swiss, like many others. There is absolutely no need to support the politicians.They benefit from the policy that creates the debt, force tax payers to bail them out, then personally collect on the debt. As Corrupt as Corrupt gets. Democracy RIP.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444592704578062570295543436.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection
19:27 October 22, 2012 by Englishted
€626 million and does want to pay tax ,greed is not good .

Why should the workers in Switzerland carry these tax dodgers?
20:38 October 22, 2012 by marimay
I highly doubt those people are being carried.

I say they should go forth with this silly initiative and see how things turn out. Not well, most like.
20:53 October 22, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Hey Pretty-Boy ... don't look now, but the Swiss are holding a lottery to see who gets to carry your bags to the border ...
20:57 October 22, 2012 by lucksi
Hey, is there a saying in english for this? Like the German "Den Hals nicht voll genug kriegen"
21:45 October 22, 2012 by joysonabraham
@ IchBinKönig

How pessimistic.. as if the roads, railways, police, military, drinking water, gas, electricity, elections, intelligence gathering, all kind of researches, affordable education, maintenance of everything public, creation of all kind of standards, price control and everything else comes out of the sky.

Bailing out is not the only thing they do in a democracy.
04:53 October 23, 2012 by wood artist
His rant sounds a whole lot like something from the 1% in the US: I'll live here, I'll take full advantage of everything the country has to offer, but I'm darned if I'll pay for any of it.

Okay, that sounds like a great plan. Move to some country where they won't expect you to pay...and you'll discover all the things you won't have available...clean water, decent roads, reliable utilities, good police and fire protection...and all that other stuff you don't want to pay for. Works for me. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

wa
07:00 October 23, 2012 by Wolfgang Fritz
"Den Hals nicht voll genug kriegen" = The neck does not get full enough.
11:56 October 23, 2012 by tedesco
@wood artist

Correct.

I remember the old days in Brazil where the people pay a LOT of taxes and still get nothing in return. Seriously, nothing!

I do think Germany taxes a bit too much, but there is return. So, I don't mind. :)
12:03 October 23, 2012 by LecteurX
Hey, Schumi, great plan isn't it. Then, how about b*ggering off to Somalia? It's a TAX-FREE heaven! That's paradise on Earth for jerks like you!

Idiot.
17:03 October 23, 2012 by onemark
What the article doesn't say is whether Schuhmacher is taxed overseas on his overseas earnings. If this is so, why should he be taxed twice on the same earnings? This article is incomplete.
19:28 October 23, 2012 by raandy
Michael Schumacher what a piece of work. He steals his best friends wife, He runs his own team members off the track. ya just go.
17:37 October 24, 2012 by neunElf
Yes, Swiss will be much better off ridding themselves of these nasty rich people!

All they do is live peacefully, obey the laws, hire Swiss citizens, purchase lots of local products and services, who would want such selfish types in their country.?
18:47 October 26, 2012 by dirving71
The Swiss have to ask themselves this: Would you rather have them pay higher taxes with the money going to politicians with little benefit for the average guy or would you rather have them pay lower taxes and have that expendable income benefiting Swiss businesses? The first one creates very few jobs and less government revenue because the rich will leave if taxes get too high and take their money elsewhere. The second one creates demand for more jobs and higher salaries and eventually more government revenue because you will have more workers and you will be able to attract the best skilled workers and companies from abroad because of lower taxes. A better solution would be to have a reasonable flat tax rate for everybody (about 15 to 25% is fair) so the Swiss citizens are not expected to carry the burden alone but the foreigners are not inconvenienced as well.
17:03 October 29, 2012 by Beachspirit
he left germany over taxes......... he is going to run out of places to run to in the future. lol
17:20 October 29, 2012 by sguenther
I live in the States and hear this tax crap about the rich all the time Can't you people get it they are all playing the class war games he is rich you are poor take it from the rich guy. Are you all stupid? makes me wonder if anyone of you have a half of a brain. Iam not rich but would never in my life say take it away from someone that has more money Schumacher put his life on the line every time he got into that race car he deserve's what he has regarding the politicians I wouldn't give them any money either why let them blow it are they really helping the poor? no what do they do just spend it foolishly so why give them the money to waste why not let the rich peole waist their own money wake up you sheep you all have been brainwashed think what has the government done for you lately nothing
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