Facebook's Saverin says to pay millions in U.S. tax

Thu May 17, 2012 3:27pm EDT

The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud

The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in Lavigny May 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Valentin Flauraud

(Reuters) - Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin said in a statement on Thursday that he is obligated to and will pay "hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government."

Saverin said his decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship and relocate to Singapore was "based solely on my interest in working and living in Singapore, where I have been since 2009."

With social media company Facebook poised for a multibillion-dollar initial public offering on Friday, Saverin has been criticized by lawmakers for what they say is dodging U.S. taxes on expected stock market gains from his Facebook holdings.

In the statement sent to Reuters by his spokesman, Saverin said: "I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen. It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation."

(Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Gary Hill)

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