It was tucked away towards the very end of an obscurename-and-shame list published every quarter by the U.S. taxauthority, the Internal Revenue Service. But when media outletsnoticed the name "Saverin" on the roster of thoseAmericans who had decided to give up their citizenship, there was asudden realisation that it was none other than the flamboyantco-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin (30). The unstated purpose of the IRS is to focus public attention onthose renouncing U.S. |
citizenship to avoid paying taxes, and inthis case they succeeded in getting Mr. Saverin's change toSingapore citizenship some unwanted media attention. Whopping tax bill Until last September Mr. Saverin was in line to pay a whopping taxbill for capital gains that will, in theory, accrue to him whenFacebook undertakes its much-vaunted Initial Public Offering.Singapore has no capital gains tax and the U.S.
does not levycapital gains tax on U.S. investments by non-resident aliens. After disagreements with the principal founder of Facebook, MarkZuckerberg, Mr. Saverin's stake in Facebook was reduced tosomewhere between 4 and 5 per cent of the company, from a muchhigher 34.4 per cent. However combining the out-of-court settlementthat he received in the wake of that controversy and his currentholding in Facebook, Forbes magazine placed his net worth in the range of $2 billion.
No regrets The Brazil-born Mr. Saverin, who has resided in Singapore for threeyears now, is set to make close to $4 billion if he offloads hisstake in Facebook, a move that would leave him open to coughing upa significant amount of tax to the IRS. According to the New York Times informed sources have placed the number of Americans renouncingtheir citizenship at 1781 in 2011, up from 231 in 2008. In joiningthis trend Mr.
Saverin clearly appears to have no regrets aboutlosing U.S. citizenship. The Wall Street Journal recently described his activities in Singapore saying, "Mr.Saverin is regularly spotted lounging with models and wealthyfriends at local night clubs, racking up tens of thousands ofdollars in bar tabs... He drives a Bentley..
wears expensivejackets and lives in one of Singapore's priciest penthouseapartments.".
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