In his first interview, Eduardo Saverin, the co-creator of Facebook who was made the sympathetic victim of Mark Zuckerberg’s alleged greed in the film “The Social Network”, has finally spoken out about what most people are calling his attempt at tax-dodging. Saverin, who has lived in Singapore for more than two years, explained why he chose to renounce his US citizenship. CNN reports:
[Saverin] re-entered the public consciousness recently when, days before Facebook stock was due to hit Wall Street, he renounced his U.S. citizenship in favor of Singapore, where he has lived since 2009.
Many saw it as a dodge — a way to avoid paying U.S. taxes on his share of the company, valued somewhere around $2 billion. He says that’s not the case and noted that, as has been reported, he’s paying his taxes.
“The decision was strictly based on my interest of living and working in Singapore,” he said. “I am obligated and I will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the American government. I already paid and I will keep paying whatever taxes I owe based on my time as a U.S. citizen.”
During a CNN interview, Senator Chuck Schumer says that if you believe Saverin about this citizenship thing, he’s got a bridge for sale you might be interested in.
How about Saverin’s feelings about Zuckerberg himself?
“I can only speak well of Mark; I don’t resent him,” Saverin said. “His focus from Day One until today is admirable. He was a visionary and always knew Facebook would only grow if it remained true to its central idea of people presenting themselves truthfully and without pseudonyms…”
What do you think? Are Saverin’s intentions toward citizenship in Singapore pure? Or is he pulling the collective American leg?