Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin gives up US citizenship

14 May 2012

Actor Andrew Garfield portrays Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, the film about the founding of the company

Brazilian-born Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has renounced his US citizenship in an effort to avoid paying US$600m in taxes.

The social network is set to go public this week and when it does so Saverin will own 4pc of the company’s US$96bn stock, bringing his wealth to about US$4bn.

The 30-year-old denounced his US citizenship in September, a spokesman for him has said, and on Friday Saverin’s name appeared on a list of people who gave up their US citizenship published by the US’ Internal Revenue Service, The Telegraph reported.

Saverin comes from a wealthy industrialist family. They fled Brazil in 1993 after Eduardo’s name appeared on a list of targets for gangs specialising in kidnap for ransom, The Telegraph added.

Eduardo received his US citizenship in 1998, when he was 18. Had he retained that citizenship, he could have liable for up to US$600m in capital gains tax.

Saverin has lived in Singapore since 2010, where there is no capital gains tax, although US citizens are liable for the levy no matter where they live.

His spokesman added that Saverin found it more practical to become a Singapore resident, since he plans to live there for an indefinite period of time.

Saverin co-founded Facebook with Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz and the company’s now-CEO Mark Zuckerberg, while they were students at Harvard University.