Facebook may be the crown jewel of Mark Zuckerberg’s career, but it certainly wouldn’t have happened without co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Born in Brazil, Saverin attended Harvard with Zuckerberg where they became friends and created the popular social networking website. Of course, it has been chronicled in the movie “Social Network” that Saverin and Zuckerberg had a falling out, leading to the former suing the latter. The result? Saverin won a larger stake in the company.
When Facebook went public recently, the company’s value incessantly rose to incredible heights. Saverin’s shares are valued around $3 billion — an amazing net worth that carried with it some serious taxes that had to be paid. Allegedly, Saverin gave up his U.S. citizenship to dodge these taxes (which may have been in the hundreds of millions of dollars).
Because Saverin left the U.S. behind during the initial public offering of Facebook stocks, and since he chose Singapore as his place of residence, where no taxes on his shares will be applied, Saverin’s case seems weak. However, he contends it had “nothing to do with taxes.”
“I was born in Brazil, I was an American citizen for about 10 years. I thought of myself as a global citizen,” said Saverin.
Under our immigration laws, it would have to be proven that Saverin renounced his citizenship to avoid taxation before he could be barred from re-entering the country. Of course it is possible he does not want to return to the U.S. – but if he did, he could seek a waiver and apply for a temporary visa, though it require him to face his charges and admit his alleged wrongdoing.
Source: TPM, “Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Likely Barred From Re-Entering U.S.,” Sahil Kapur, May 17, 2012