The 600 Million Euro Tax Bill
Word is, ‘le fisc’ – the French Internal Revenue Service – is demanding 600 million Euros from the Wildenstein family. Pierro Rigo reports for BFM Business.
Guy Wildenstein, heir to the famous art dealer, may have to pay millions of euros in a tax adjustment. The prominent donor to the UMP political party has also been indicted for tax evasion.
Wildenstein is in the crosshairs of the French IRS. According to new information from the magazine Challenges on Thursday, May 16, the heir to the family fortune owes hundreds of millions of euros to the government. The businessman is also under investigation for tax evasion and money laundering.
The charges against Guy Wildenstein date back to 2001. At the time, he inherited of the paternal fortune (his father was a famous art dealer) with his brother. Amongst the many items in the family catalog: paintings by Picasso and Courbet, but also real estate assets amounting to several billion euros. But now, the two brothers are said to have deliberately omitted part of the property in their declaration of succession in order to pay less tax.
Wildenstein’s Notary Still in Jail
Today, the French tax authorities are request that all accounts from the Wildenstein family be held accountable for the nearly 600 million euros owed. This figure represents a record amount for a tax adjustment in France. Guy Wildenstein himself will be required to pay half that amount.
As far as the criminal case against Wildenstein is concerned, tis major donor to the UMP party – and close to Nicolas Sarkozy – had to buy his freedom. The judge in the case had asked for bail amounting to 75 million euros. After negotiation, the final amount of the bail was set to five million euros.
The notary, who was in charge of handling the inheritance, is still behind bars: his bail is set at 750,000 euros. But he does not have the means to pay.