Monday, July 09, 2012

Who did she vote for? #19

Meet Denise Rich.... Why is she in the news?

Denise Rich, the wealthy socialite and former wife of pardoned billionaire trader Marc Rich, has given up her U.S. citizenship - and, with it, much of her U.S. tax bill. 

Rich, 68, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and glossy figure in Democratic and European royalty circles, renounced her American passport in November, according to her lawyer. 

Her maiden name, Denise Eisenberg, appeared in the Federal Register on April 30 in a quarterly list of Americans who renounced their U.S. citizenship and permanent residents who handed in their green cards. 

By dumping her U.S. passport, Rich likely will save tens of millions of dollars or more in U.S. taxes over the long haul, tax lawyers say. 

Rich, who wrote songs recorded by Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and Jessica Simpson, is the latest bold-faced name to join a wave of wealthy people renouncing their American citizenship. Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin gave up his U.S. passport to become a citizen of Singapore, an offshore tax haven, before the company's initial public offering in May. 

Nearly 1,800 citizens and permanent residents, a record since data was first compiled in 1998, expatriated last year, according to government figures. 

But you may remember her for infamous ex-husband............

Rich's ex-husband, commodities trader Marc Rich, fled the United States in 1983 when indicted on charges of tax evasion, fraud, racketeering and illegal trading of oil with Iran. They divorced in 1996. 

Marc Rich received a presidential pardon in 2001 on President Bill Clinton's last day in office. 

Federal prosecutors and Congress investigated the pardon, and in 2002 a House of Representatives committee concluded Denise Rich had swayed the action through donations to the Clinton library and campaign. 

Dubbed "Lady Gatsby" by Yachting magazine, Rich owns multiple properties, including a mansion in Aspen, Colorado. She is a frequent habitue of Cannes, Monte Carlo and St. Tropez with celebrities and singers aboard her 157-foot yacht, Lady Joy. 

 Rich will escape future U.S. taxes but possibly not all current ones. In 2008, Congress imposed an expatriation tax on persons with a net worth of more than $2 million who dump their U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. Under the law, those people owe an "exit tax" on their worldwide property, computed at a fair market value the day before they leave. But tax lawyers say the tax can be reduced or avoided by structuring asset holdings through foreign annuities.


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