Facebook co-founder Saverin renounces citizenship

SAN FRANCISCO Fri May 11, 2012 7:08pm EDT

An illustration picture shows the log-on screen for the website Facebook, in Munich February 2, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

An illustration picture shows the log-on screen for the website Facebook, in Munich February 2, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Dalder

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his U.S. citizenship, according to an Internal Revenue Service report, days before the company's initial public offering.

The news, first published by Bloomberg on Friday, was based on an IRS notice late in April that named people "who have chosen to expatriate."

Facebook plans to raise as much as $10.6 billion in an IPO that is expected to value the company at as much as $96 billion.

The offering could leave Saverin, who once owned 5 percent of the company, with a hefty capital-gains tax bill.

Saverin has sold enough of his Facebook stake that he does not appear in IPO filing documents that list shareholders who own 5 percent or more of the company, though his holdings are still believed to be substantial.

A spokesman for Saverin did not reply to several requests for comment on why Saverin had renounced his citizenship.

ISLAND NATION

Saverin now lives in Singapore, an Asian city-state that has no capital-gains tax. There is a minimum 15 percent rate for long-term capital gains in the United States for people in higher-income brackets.

Saverin, who was born in Brazil, was educated in the United States at Harvard, where he co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg and others.

The question of American citizenship became a bit of a talking point this week as former Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann revealed she had become a dual U.S.-Swiss citizen, then sought to return her new Swiss passport.

Renouncing citizenship is a complicated and lengthy affair involving a signed oath and an appearance before a U.S. diplomatic official, according to the U.S. State Department's website.

Giving up citizenship is an irrevocable act, according to the State Department.

According to the Internal Revenue Service report, those who gave up citizenship last quarter included Philip Radziwill, nephew of Jackie Onassis, the wife of assassinated former President John F. Kennedy.

(Additional reporting by Atossa Abrahamian; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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Comments (20)
Acetracy wrote:
So just when Savarin can pay back all the benefits he enjoyed in the US, he skips out tax free. Do Brazil or Singapore have a top rated university that could have given him a network and contacts that scored $billions for him. How much would Harvard have cost dear Savarin if it wasn’t treated as a non-profit that pays no real estate taxes.

Let’s also not forget the US Military that makes island nations like Singapore feasible when they sit beside dictatorship and unstable regimes, keep the oil flowing across the oceans, and make life safe and luxurious for Mr Savarin.

His attitude and actions are exactly in keeping with the elite 1%. Remember, 1/3 of the world’s wealth is held off-shore, completely untaxed. How many schools go unbuilt, how many children go without medical care, how many retired are dirt poor because the 1% elite refuse to pay taxes. I wonder if he even remembers his mother on MOther’s day….

May 11, 2012 3:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
widollar wrote:
Eduardo Saverin has been taking lessons from Mitt Romney on how to avoid paying your fair share of income taxes.

May 11, 2012 3:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
neahkahnie wrote:
Ah, yes, the 1%. Real loyal people: To Money, not country. He is disgusting.

May 11, 2012 4:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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