Billionaire Eduardo Saverin, who co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg, has relinquished his American citizenship in advance of the May 18 Facebook IPO and is moving permanently to Singapore.
A spokesman for Saverin said that “Eduardo recently found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time.” The statement also indicates that Saverin has and will continue to invest in companies around the world, including those entering the Asian market. According to the New York Post, “Saverin lives like a rock star in a sprawling penthouse atop Singapore’s tallest building.”
The move to Singapore as Saverin’s home base is seen as a tax-avoidance strategy. According to Bloomberg Businessweek…
Besides helping cut tax bills stemming from the Facebook, the move may also help him avoid capital gains taxes on future investments since Singapore doesn’t have a capital gains tax.
But Saverin, 30, who was portrayed in The Social Network by Andrew Garfield, may not be off the hook from the IRS at least in the short term. Forbes reports that…
Saverin won’t escape all U.S. taxes. Americans who give up their citizenship owe what is effectively an exit tax on the capital gains from their stock holdings, even if they don’t sell the shares, said Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, director of the international tax program at the University of Michigan’s law school. For tax purposes, the IRS treats the stock as if it has been sold.
Previously a naturalized U.S. citizen from Brazil, Saverin owns about 4% of Facebook which is said to be worth about $4 billion. His name was on a list of U.S. citizens published last month by the IRS who have decided to abandon their citizenship.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, about 1,780 Americans ditched their citizenship at U.S. embassies in 2011, presumably to cut down on their tax bills.
ABC News has more on this development:
Do you think it’s fair that Eduardo Saverin has decided to un-friend America?