Facebook Co-Founder Renounces US Citizenship To Avoid Taxes

With just days to go until Facebook goes public, there's a lot of money at stake - just ask its co-founder, Eduardo Saverin. That's why he's decided to renounce his US citizenship ahead of social network's IPO, taking his 4 per cent of the company (not to mention his estimated $2 billion) to settle in Singapore.

Born in Brazil, Saverin became a US citizen in 1998 after living in the States for five years - but since 2009, has made Singapore his home. Not wanting to be hit with a tax bill of $600 million, however, has resulted in Saverin joining an internal Revenue service list of those looking to give up their US citizenship as of 30th April.

Tom Goodman, a spokesman for Saverin, explained his case: "Eduardo recently found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time".

Due to the much lower capital gains taxes in Singapore, it's understandable why Saverin would relocate to Asia. But given his Harvard education and wealth in the US, many people have been less understanding of his situation:

"The openness of our economy," says Edward Kleinbard, professor at the USC Gould School of Law, "the willingness to encourage and incubate start-up businesses, made Facebook worth what it is today and made him the extraordinarily wealthy man he is today."

"For Eduardo Saverin to expatriate struck me as perfectly lawful and, at the same time, profoundly ungrateful," Kleinbard stated.

Source: Telegraph