Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who renounced his U.S. citizenship in what many have seen as a move to avoid paying federal taxes, has managed to unify many Americans behind Uncle Sam's outstretched hand.
Normally, Uncle Sam is portrayed as the guy trying to separate you from the contents of your wallet, right?
But many in the online world this week are outraged at the perception that Saverin is trying to dodge the tax man. Americans feel personally ripped off, according to comments posted across a variety of social media platforms. Saverin made his riches off Facebook-loving U.S. taxpayers and is now defriending the country that made him rich when it comes time to add some of that money back to U.S. tax coffers.
Before we get to the reaction, a quick catch-up: Saverin is Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook co-founder, and his role in the business venture was immortalized in the Oscar-winning film, “The Social Network.” He has a reported 4% stake in the company, a stake that could be worth nearly $4 billion after Facebook's highly anticipated initial public offering, expected next week.
A spokeswoman for Saverin says the move was not intended to avoid paying taxes. It just makes more sense, she said, because Saverin plans to live in Singapore for an indefinite period of time handling business ventures that he's launching in that part of the world. Although tax-planning experts call the move shrewd, the timing -- days before the IPO -- is just too convenient for many.