Tags: Depp | Tax | Rates | France

Johnny Depp Prefers US Tax Rates to Those in France

By James Hirsen   |   Tuesday, 08 Nov 2011 08:55 AM

Johnny Depp acknowledged in a recent interview that he alters his behavior so as to minimize his tax bills.

The man that this month's GQ magazine refers to as “the world's coolest actor” gave an interview to the U.K. Guardian to promote his latest film, “The Rum Diary.”

The movie was adapted from an unpublished novel that Depp found in journalist-author Hunter Thompson's basement in the 1990s. The story centers around a young bohemian Thompson-type reporter whose sensibilities are offended by so-called greedy and corrupt U.S. capitalist actions that impacted Puerto Rico in 1960.

“The Rum Diary” is currently doing mediocre at the box office, but Depp says the money issue doesn’t matter to him.

“No, God no, no," the actor explains. “It's always a crapshoot, and really if you have that in your head while you're making a movie the process would become something very different. No, I couldn't give a rat's arse really, not really.”

Depp has a long-term view of the film, saying, “I believe that this film, regardless of what it makes in, you know, Wichita, Kan., this week — which is probably about $13 — it doesn't make any difference. I believe that this film will have a shelf life. I think it will stick around and people will watch it and enjoy it.”

He evidently believes Europeans will have a deeper appreciation for the movie than U.S. audiences.

“It's something that will be more appreciated over here, I think. Because it's — well, I think it's an intelligent film — and a lot of times, outside the big cities in the states, they don't want that,” Depp said.

This is the same theme that caused Depp some aggravation back in 2003, when he characterized people in the U.S. as “dumb.”

He still, however, isn't looking to give up his American citizenship. Why not? It has a little something to do with his tax liability.

When the interviewer asked Depp why he left France, he answered, “Because France wanted a piece of me. They wanted me to become a permanent resident. Permanent residency status — which changes everything. They just want [the actor gestures that he is peeling off bills from his hand] Dough. Money.”

Depp, who is among the highest-paid movie stars of all time, explains that if he were to spend more than 183 days in France, he would have to begin paying income taxes there.

“I'm certainly not ready to give up my American citizenship. You don't have to give up your American citizenship,” he sarcastically said.

If Depp established dual citizenship in the U.S. and France, he would be paying taxes in both countries, and then, as he astutely explained, “You essentially work for free.”

Sounds as if, when it comes to taxes, a bit of Jack Sparrow's shrewdness has rubbed off on Depp.

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and chief legal counsel for InternationalEsq.com. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood.

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