In a very public dislike of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey proposed legislation on Thursday to punish people who renounce citizenship in order to skip out on taxes. (For those of you who need a pop culture reference point — he’s the guy Andrew Garfied played in “The Social Network.”)
The Democrats accused the Brazilian-born social media mogul, who renounced his U.S. citizenship last year, of dodging taxes to avoid a hefty payout to Uncle Sam.
“Saverin has turned his back on the country that welcomed him and kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire. This is a great American success story gone horribly wrong,” Schumer said in a press conference on Thursday. “Eduardo Saverin wants to de-friend the United States of America just to avoid paying taxes. We aren’t going to let him get away with it.”
Saverin owes the feds an estimated $67 million to $100 million in taxes — a number that could increase under the new Facebook IPO. He currently calls Singapore home and denies his decision was over taxes.
Casey called this an “insult to the American people” and that “we should make sure that he’s held accountable.”
Further getting in on the pun action, Schumer added, “Senator Casey and I have a status update for him: pay your taxes in full or don’t ever try to visit the U.S. again.”In a statement to Reuters on Thursday, Saverin said “I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen. It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation.”
The newly unveiled bill, Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy Act, a.k.a. the Ex-PATRIOT Act, aims to crack down on tax dodgers. The proposed law presumes anyone is a tax evader if they ditch out on citizenship and boast a net worth of $2 million or an average income tax liability of $148,000 over the last five years.
To prove otherwise, the person would need to take it up with the IRS and that person’s U.S. assets would be taxed at 30 percent.