In a move apparently designed to limit his U.S tax liabilities, Eduardo Saverin, a co-founder of Facebook, has renounced his U.S. citizenship prior to the company going public.
The Brazilian-born resident of Singapore took the action last year, and his name appears on an IRS list of people who have renounced their citizenship as of April 30, 2012, according to Bloomberg.com.
The move was made well ahead of the announcement for an initial public offering for Facebook that will net Saverin hundreds of millions of dollars.
Saverin’s stake in Facebook, once 34 percent, is now approximately 4 percent. The IPO is predicted to raise $11.8 billion.
A spokesman for Saverin argued that the renunciation of his citizenship was not for tax pruposes.
"I’d like to assure you that Eduardo’s decision was based solely on practicality and his interest in living and working in Singapore for an extended period of time," wrote Tom Goodman, president and CEO of Goodman Media International, in an email. "His decision was not about taxes or dissatisfaction here, but a strong interest in doing business there. He has lived in Singapore since 2009 and is now a permanent resident. I have worked with Eduardo since prior to the release of the movie, 'The Social Network,' and, as his public relations counsel, I’m sure I would have known a long time ago if taxes were behind his own decision to expatriate last September. The word 'tax' was never brought up in any of our discussions or meetings. That has the added value of being true."
“Eduardo was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the U.S. in 1992, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1998," Goodman added. "He still has very strong ties to Brazil and is extremely passionate about not only his homeland, but also the U.S. Eduardo recently found it to be more practical to become a resident of Singapore since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time. He has invested in Asian, U.S. and European companies. He also plans to invest in Brazilian and global companies that have strong interests in entering the Asian markets. Accordingly, it made the most sense for him to use Singapore as a home base.”
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