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Gerard Depardieu now an honorary, and less taxed, Belgian

French actor Gerard Depardieu is now Belgian actor Gerard Depardieu.

The award-winning actor raised eyebrows last year when he decided to take up residency in Belgium after the Socialist government in his native France sought to impose a 75 percent tax rate on annual incomes over 1 million euros, or around $1.34 million U.S.

Depardieu decided to move 800 yards across the French border to the village of Nechin, Belgium. It already had earned a global reputation as being the spot for French nationals disillusioned with their country.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, those expatriate French got a taste of home as Depardieu threw a party for 200 of his neighbors. The reason? Depardieu became an honorary citizen of Belgium.

Gerard Depardieu with Russian passport via TASS_4240930-pic3-700x467-65529Wait. Didn't earlier this year he accept Russian citizenship from Vladimir Putin? Yes. That's Depardieu at right, showing off his new Russian passport.

Apparently, though, Depardieu has been rethinking that move.

Perhaps he didn't like sharing the spotlight with Edward Snowden.

Or maybe he just wanted to be closer to the Paris set of his next movie, "F2014," in which he portrays Jules Rimet, the creator of the FIFA World Cup.

French at le cœur: And he's not completely ruled out a return to his homeland.

In an interview with Le Figaro magazine published on the eve of his Nechin house-warming, the 64-year-old actor said he never left France. All the attention to his tax ramblings, verbal as well as geographic, was all a big misunderstanding.

"I refuse to be shut in by borders, that's completely different," Depardieu told the magazine. "I am a free man. I feel at home everywhere in Europe."

"This whole story is a big misunderstanding," he added. "I love France as much as ever. It's my country."

Another actor's tax issues: Here in the United States, another celebrated actor was clearing up a state tax mess.

Bankrate Taxes Blog iconAcademy Award winner Al Pacino, famous for his gangster roles in "The Godfather" series and "Scarface," is much more law-abiding in real life, especially when it comes to taxes.

California tax officials slapped Pacino with a $31,706.04 tax lien this spring, according to celebrity website TMZ, for unpaid Golden State taxes from 2009 and 2011.

As I noted last week at my other tax blog, Pacino promptly paid off the California tax bill. The lien was lifted on July 31.

Also over at the Bankrate Taxes Blog last week, I blogged about some Representatives and Senators getting celebrity treatment. The reason? They made the latest list of the richest members of Congress.

You can usually find Bankrate tax posts on that website each Tuesday and Thursday. If, however, you miss the posts in real time, check them out here at the ol' blog the next weekend.

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