France Beware: The Rich Might Flee After All

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A high tax rate may scare of France's wealthy, if figures from the UK are to be believed.

Earlier this month I noted a study suggesting millionaires may not necessarily flee a country in response to high tax rates. New figures released in the UK indicate otherwise:

In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.

This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50p top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.

The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.

It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes.

It's not clear how many millionaires fled, used tax avoidance loopholes or simply lost too much income due to the financial crisis to no longer be counted. Still, Mr. Hollande will want to take note before he levies a much steeper tax bill on his own country's millionaires.

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