Is Actor Steven Seagal considering Russian Citizenship for tax reasons? With Rob Wood, Tax Attorney
Actor Steven Seagal, is in some people's minds, a rather notorious fan of Russian President Putin, particularly since the recent incursions in the Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula. Apparently, the 1980's and 1990's action here and some time reality star met the President Putin while practicing martial arts in Russia, and now on top of essentially applauding the Russian take over of Crimea, the actor also says he's considering Russian citizenship as a result of his time spent in Russia.
However, noted tax attorney, Rob Wood, of Wood, LLP in San Francisco, California, says he doesn't think this move is primarily for tax reasons, however the jury's still out on what Seagal is going to do regarding his citizenship status. This topic does however raise some very interesting questions regarding the recent move by Putin to try and position Russian to become a rather unique tax haven, something it hasn't been in the past. His ability to essentially dictate the tax code in favor of the Russian Oligarchs gives him almost unlimited ability to carve out exemptions that favor certain key industries.
The issue of high net worth citizen's, such as French actor Gerard Depardieu and Facebook billionaire Eduardo Saverin, giving up their citizenship in their home country's and moving to other nations such as Singapore or Russia has been getting a great deal of attention lately, and as a featured commentator on The Legal Broadcast Network and Columnist for Forbes Magazine, Attorney Robert Wood covers it in greater detail in his recent Forbes Article available HERE.