French Property Insider Volume XIV, Issue 21 Thursday, May 26, 2016 • Paris, France
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Tuesday I trained to Brussels to meet with Carl Mir and Brian Dunhill. Carl, of Mir Taxes, is a U.S. tax preparer working and residing there who is associated with Dunhill Financial. You may recall that I wrote about this in last week's edition of French Property Insider -- "U.S. Taxes for Expats 101."
The streets were dead and traffic moved quickly on route to the offices. It was very quiet in their offices as we worked our way through my U.S. tax return and we had a pleasant lunch at a nearby Italian restaurant. Little did we know that not far away, Belgian police were clashing with anti-austerity protesters at a rally with as many as 60,000 people! This I didn't learn until I returned home in the evening.
The protestors are opposed to recent regulations, as in France, to reform labor laws designed to give employers more flexibility, therefore ultimately to create more jobs and reduce unemployment. It shocks us U.S. Expats that the protestors know so little about the way business works that they are actually protesting against themselves by not allowing the reforms. The governments in Europe are trying to input more rightist/capitalistic ideas to strengthen their weak economies. They have a very long way to go before they get even close to the right that we know in the U.S.
At the same time, the U.S. Embassy issued not a warning about the demonstrations, but a message to U.S. citizens about a Webinar on “Overseas Filing for U.S. Taxpayers” that was held yesterday, May 25th, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Paris time (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT). This coincided perfectly with last week's French Property Insider and my meeting Tuesday in Brussels. The session was recorded and is available for viewing.
They remind us that they cannot mail tax returns on behalf of U.S. taxpayers living abroad through a diplomatic pouch or other Department of State facilities. For more information, contact the U.S. Embassy in France, located at 4, Avenue Gabriel, Paris, +33 (1) 43 12 22 22, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +33 (1) 43 12 22 22.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS
The economic problems facing Europe may not beneficial for Europeans, but it offers an opportunity for foreign investors. In a report this week by France.24, there is a clash between those who have and those who have not. Paris is both suffering a shortage of housing, particularly for the low income, as well as a glut of luxury properties on the market for the very wealthy. Wealthy foreigners are buying up large expensive properties to have a first-hand experience of French life.
While the report doesn't attempt to explain why this is happening, my own observation is that the economic issues in France evidenced by the high unemployment has led to a larger poor sector who can't afford even average priced housing and over taxation have driven out the wealthy, leaving their properties available for purchase for those who see a good opportunity.
Olivers before JR
JR DOES A PYRAMIDAL VANISHING ACT
Last week, my daughter sent photos of our own apartment building in the West Village in New York that had been postered by the famous street artist JR. I had the pleasure of meeting him at one of her own art openings -- as through the world of photography and art, she has had the good fortune of getting to know him. The postering of his images on the abandoned "Olivers" on the street level was completely random -- she had no idea he had planned to put his mark on it.
JR was originally a Parisian street artist who describes himself as a "photograffeur" who believes that the street is "the largest art gallery in the world." His monumental works have taken street art to an all new heightened level. Paris and New York are two of his most important 'canvases.'
His most recent project happened just yesterday, completing his work on the Pyramide du Louvre -- having wrapped it entirely in a photographic piece that creates the illusion of it completely vanishing.
"JR has chosen the biggest gallery in the world to showcase his art: public spaces. For some ten years now, the artist’s monumental photographic collages have been popping up on the walls of cities in all four corners of the globe. 'The most important thing,' he explains, 'is where I put my photos and the meaning they take on depending on the place.'"
P.S. Don't miss the American Expat Seminar in Paris with Special Guest Brian Dunhill, Sponsored by Dunhill Financial and The Adrian Leeds Group, on July 7, 2016. See our Conference and Events page for more information and please sign up in advance at Dunhill Financial Services.
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