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Old 15-05-12, 06:33   #1
 
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Red Arrow Facebook's Co Founder Quits the US-UPDATE

Facebook's Eduardo Saverin quits US ahead of flotation

BBC 14 May 2012



Facebook is days away from a multi-billion dollar stock market flotation

Facebook's co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his US citizenship ahead of the company going public on Friday.

Brazilian-born Mr Saverin, 30, will avoid paying around $600m (373m) in tax when he picks up his share of the site's stock offering.
A spokesman said Mr Saverin "found it more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time".
He made the move to renounce his citizenship in September 2011.
However, his decision was only made public last week when the US Internal Revenue Service published a list of Americans giving up their citizenship.

Mr Saverin has lived in Singapore since 2009.
He had fled to Miami in 1993 after his father discovered his name on a list of targets for gangs specialising in kidnapping family members for ransom.

Personal wealth

Facebook hopes to raise as much as $10.6bn (6.6bn) when it makes its initial public offering on Friday, the biggest ever for a technology company.
It is expected to value the company at around $96bn (60bn).
Mr Saverin holds 4% of the site's stock, the ownership of which is set to put his personal wealth at around $4bn (2.5bn).
If he were to remain a US citizen, he would be liable for capital gains tax.

Mr Saverin can be credited with much of Facebook's early success.
He was the site's first chief financial officer, putting up the money needed to help Mark Zuckerberg get the social network off the ground.
However, he eventually left the company following mounting disagreements with Mr Zuckerberg - a dispute depicted in the 2010 film The Social Network.
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Old 19-05-12, 21:41   #2
 
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Default Re: Facebook's Co Founder Quits the US-UPDATE

'I have paid my dues and I'm done with the U.S': Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin speaks out as he comes under fire for tax avoidance

By Daily Mail UK, 18 May 2012

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, under fire over the tax consequences of renouncing his U.S. citizenship, said on Thursday he is obligated to and will pay 'hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government.'
The social media entrepreneur and investor said in a statement, emailed to Reuters by a spokesman, that his decision to move to Singapore was 'based solely on my interest in working and living' there.

Saverin said he has been there since 2009.




Facing ban? Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has made a statement responding to claims he will avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes when Facebook makes its public stock market debut on Friday


Facebook Inc poised to make its public debut in the stock market on Friday, after pricing on Thursday at $38 per share.

Saverin, 30, stands to make a fortune.

His spokesman declined to comment when asked what portion of the millions of dollars Saverin said he will pay in U.S. taxes are related to the initial public offering.
Bloomberg first reported last week that Saverin had renounced his citizenship and in so doing, may avoid U.S. taxes on the widely anticipated IPO.
In the statement, Saverin said: 'I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen.'

'As a native of Brazil who immigrated to the United States, I am very grateful to the U.S. for everything it has given me ... I will continue to invest in U.S. businesses and start-ups, and believe and hope that those investments will create many new jobs in the U.S. and globally.'
The IPO could leave Saverin, still a part-owner of Facebook, with a big capital gains tax bill.
But Saverin's new home of Singapore has no capital gains tax.

Brazilian-born Saverin who helped Mark Zuckerberg develop the Facebook social network while they were both students at Harvard, is expected to save millions of dollars by not paying capital gains taxes.
His stake in Facebook, which is expected to have the largest technology IPO in history on Friday, is estimated to be $3 billion.

While Saverin filed in January 2011 to renounce his U.S citizenship, Facebook announced its plans in February of 2012.

'It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to public debate, based not on facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation,' said Saverin in his statement.



Intertwined: Eduardo Saverin with fan in a Spiderman costume - a role which his film alter-ego Andrew Garfield in the hit film 'The Social Network' has also played on screen


Paying a standard 'exit' tax of 15 percent of the pre-IPO-value of his shares, Saverin will likely save up to $100 million because he will not pay capital gains taxes while living in Singapore.
'In 2004, I invested my life's savings into a start up company that initially was run out of a college dorm room,' said Saverin in his statement.
'Since then the company has expanded dramatically, has created thousands of jobs in the United States and elsewhere, and spawned countless new companies across the United States and other countries.'
However, Saverin does have supporters in some circles keen to express their views on the Facebook billionaires financial dealings.
'To be fair, Eduardo wasn't born in the U.S and has really lived internationally for most of his life,' said Ben Mezrich who wrote 'The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook' on which the film, 'The Social Network' is based on.


Sen. Charles Schumer, (left), accompanied by Sen. Bob Casey, gestures during a news conference in Washington to unveil a comprehensive plan to respond to Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's scheme to renounce his U.S. citizenship in order to dodge taxes

'He will save some money on taxes, and especially on estate taxes down the line, so I'm sure that's a factor, but he probably made the decision because he sees himself as an international businessman.'

However, this has not been enough for Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York or Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania.
They called a press conference to express their 'outrage' and their proposed legislation that imposes a 30 percent capital gains tax on expatriates like Saverin and a ban from the U.S if they don't pay.
Senator Charles Schumer told a news briefing on Thursday: 'It's infuriating to see someone sell out the country that welcomed him and kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire ... We plan to put a stop to this tax avoidance scheme.'
Schumer and Senator Bob Casey, both Democrats, said at the briefing that they were proposing legislation to crack down on what they see as expatriate tax avoidance.


Charles Schumer arrives for a news conference in Washington, to unveil a plan to respond to Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's scheme to dodge taxes on profits he is expected to collect when the social-networking company goes public

Under the bill, expatriates worth $2 million or more, or with average income tax liability exceeding $148,000 over the past five years, would be presumed to have renounced their citizenship for tax avoidance purposes.

These high-income expatriates would get a chance to prove otherwise to the Internal Revenue Service, but if they could not do so, then they would face a 30-percent tax on future investment gains, no matter where they were residing.
So long as the taxpayers failed to pay these taxes, they would not be allowed to re-enter the United States.
'We simply cannot allow the ultra-wealthy to write their own rules,' Casey said.



Party time: Saverin (second right) drinking champagne in Singapore where he has become renowned for his lavish lifestyle of fast cars and nightclubs

'Mr. Saverin has benefited greatly from being a citizen of the United States but he has chosen to cast it aside and leave U.S. taxpayers with the bill. Renouncing citizenship to simply avoid paying your fair share is an insult to middle class Americans and we will not accept it,' he said.
Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Senator Orrin Hatch said the Schumer-Casey bill was a talking point rather than a real solution.



Playboy lifestyle: Eduardo Saverin (far right) enjoys a rooftop party with friends and models in his new home of Singapore. He may not be allowed to return to America if his move was judged to be down to tax avoidance

'The root cause of the problem - an archaic tax code and massive tax burden that incentivizes people to do something like this - must be fixed,' said Ferrier.

Hatch is the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees tax policy,
In a related matter, Democratic Senator Carl Levin criticised in a written statement the tax deduction that Facebook will get via its IPO, estimated at $16 billion.




How it all began: Eduardo Saverin was an initial investor in Facebook at Harvard, the story of which was depicted in movie The Social Network where he was played by Andrew Garfield (right)




World's apart: Mark Zuckerberg in his habitual hoodie talking to ABC's Robin Robert's from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California

That would result, he said, from a loophole that lets companies claim a stock option tax deduction greater than the expense shown on their books. Levin and other lawmakers have filed legislation to close this loophole, but it has made little headway in the Senate.
Broader proposals to reform the complex U.S. tax code for the first time since 1986 also have not advanced in Congress, with lawmakers at a stalemate on a range of issues because of stubborn partisan divisions on tax and spending policy.
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