Facebook co-founder claims globalist status to avoid taxes

That guy on left is not actually Eduardo Saverin (he may really be Spiderman, though)

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is catching heat from US senators for renouncing his American citizenship to avoid taxes.

Saverin was born in Brazil, moved to the US at age 11, became a citizen at 16, and founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg while at Harvard. Then after all that stuff you saw in The Social Network happened (with considerably less Sorkin-esque repartee, I’m sure), Saverin ended up owning about 4% of Facebook. In 2009 he moved to Singapore, where there is no tax on capital gains.

With the Facebook IPO today, which will raise as much as $18 billion, his stake in the company will grow to be worth about $3 billion.

The move to give up his US citizenship could save Saverin $100 million in US taxes, but in an interview with the New York Times published Wednesday, he claims it’s just a coincidence.

“This had nothing to do with taxes,” he told Times reporter Quentin Hardy. “I was born in Brazil, I was an American citizen for about 10 years. I thought of myself as a global citizen.”

Not exactly what we had in mind when we coined the phrase “I’m a Globalist.”

Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey aren’t buying it. They’ve proposed a bill that would put a stop to what they say is a growing trend of wealthy ex-pats ‘de-friending’ America to avoid taxes.

“Saverin has turned his back on the country that welcomed and kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire,” Schumer said at a press conference announcing the bill. “This is a great American success story gone horribly wrong.”

Alex Stonehill

Alex is a cofounder and editor of The Seattle Globalist. He's a visual journalist whose work has been published by PBS, The Seattle Times, FRONTLINE/World and the Seattle Weekly.  Alex teaches journalism in the University of Washington's Department of Communication and recently directed the documentary film Barzan.
Alex Stonehill

1 Comment

  1. The condemnations being heaped upon Saverin would make more sense if they were applied to top American/multinational corporations that do stuff like this all the time (including right here in Washington at the state level) and end up paying little to no taxes. Easier to pick on one foreign-born guy than companies employing armies of lobbyists and doling out campaign contributions, I suppose.

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