Senators Want to Ban Facebook's Co-Founder from America Forever

Illustration for article titled Senators Want to Ban Facebook's Co-Founder from America Forever

Dirtbag IPO tax dodger/tragic startup victim Eduardo Saverin is about to get double teamed by the United States: Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey want to him permanently exiled from the country for renouncing his citizenship to save a buck.

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The proposed legislation, called the Ex-PATRIOT Act (geeeeeeeet it?) specifically targets Saverin's $100 million bill-ditching behavior, slapping a retroactive 30% capital gains tax on former citizens like him, but more importantly, would block expatriating tax bailers from ever reentering the US. If Saverin were to try to visit, say, Silicon Valley from his new home in Singapore (where he'll pay zero taxes on his Facebook doubloons), he'd be promptly turned around and sent packing—"he won't be allowed to set foot in this country," Schumer explains. Any money Saverin still has in the US would also be taxed hard. The bill would, of course, apply to any other likeminded expats, running off a list of thousands of greedy cheats compiled by the IRS.

If this sounds punitive—good! As Sen. Casey put it, Saverin, having become explosively wealthy from an American company set to debut on the American stock market, has "[spit] in the eye of the American people" by calling it quits as an American when it's perfectly convenient. Eduardo owns a slice of Facebook fat enough to ensure none of his kids' kids' kids will ever need to work—it makes the taxes he'd owe from cashing out look like what's sitting between your couch cushions. Saverin's richer than the center of the moon, already has more money than he knows how to spend, and shouldn't have the option to choose to skip town to Singapore and count his Bentleys just because he has the means.

Or, fine—stay there. We don't want to be your friend anyway.

A full summary of the proposed legislation can be read here.

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty

DISCUSSION

#1 - The US has the most archaic tax laws. Most commentators here are wrong. If you are a US citizen or Permanent Resident, you are taxed for income you earn in a foreign country!!! This has nothing to do with US income. It's ridiculous. You earn money in, let's say, Denmark. You pay taxes in Denmark. You use the roads, schools, public services in Denmark. You haven't been back to the US in 10 years. But the IRS still wants a slice of it. It runs in the face of the basic purpose of taxes. (note, I am aware of tax treaties that lessen the burden, but the most treaties only apply to a portion of your pay ~$100K).

#2 - As a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, most foreign banks, brokers, mortgage companies, etc. will NOT accept your deposits or investments. Since the US has been pursuing and threatening "tax havens", most foreign banks just find it easier to straight out deny Americans vs having to deal with the mounds of paperwork. Americans are seen as higher risk.

#3 - Again, the issue of the purpose of taxation. It's not to punish people for investing in the US. It has to do with matching profits to expenses. You could turn the argument around and say if this guy hadn't invested his, time, money, effort, talents, Facebook would never be where it is today so the US gov't should pay him taxes. It's ridiculous. All this does is ensure that no sane person will ever try to do a startup in the US again. Why would anyone risk it?

#4 - It's a pair of senators that are trying to gain publicity by signaling out a guy based on the popular news this month. I bet if you dig into these senators finances, they probably have houses abroad and are keeping wealth offshore.