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Facebook co-founder says he's grateful to U.S. and has paid taxes

May 17, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • The Facebook logo is reflected in a window over the Beijing skyline.
The Facebook logo is reflected in a window over the Beijing skyline. (Ed Jones / AFP/GettyImages…)

WASHINGTON -- Denounced as a tax-dodger for renouncing his U.S. citizenship, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin said Thursday he was grateful to the country and will end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes as required under current law.

He reiterated earlier comments that he did not renounce citizenship to avoid paying taxes and noted that Facebook has been a boost to the U.S. economy. 

"I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen," he said. "It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation."

Saverin released a statement in response to legislation proposed Thursday by Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Casey (D-Pa.) to punish people who renounce their U.S. citizenship to dodge taxes.

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Here's the full statement:

My decision to expatriate was based solely on my interest in working and living in Singapore, where I have been since 2009. I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government. 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.

As a native of Brazil who immigrated to the United States, I am very grateful to the U.S. for everything it has given me. In 2004, I invested my life’s savings into a start-up company that initially was run out of a college dorm room. Since then the company has expanded dramatically, has created thousands of jobs in the United States and elsewhere, and spawned countless new companies across the United States and other countries.

I will continue to invest in U.S. businesses and start-ups, and believe and hope that those investments will create many new jobs in the U.S. and globally. I also hope that these investments will create opportunities for many other individuals to start companies and benefit society.  – Eduardo Saverin

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