Facebook co-founder renounces U.S. citizenship – Brilliant Dan Mitchell article

Great analysis! Thanks Dan.





13 thoughts on “Facebook co-founder renounces U.S. citizenship – Brilliant Dan Mitchell article

  1. Mitchell is right. But this is going to hurt our attempt to say that renunciation list is about the little guy. I spent a couple hours today speaking to reporters about my renunciation though. It is obviously a story with more than one narrative. I wrote at Mitchell’s blog:

    I think the majority of renunciations remain people like myself who are not extremely wealthy people who made their wealth in the United States, but just normal people living abroad who are caught in the trap that the IRS has set for the super wealthy. We want to live in freedom. So we are renouncing. I received my Certificate of Loss of Nationality in April 2012–it took over one year to get, because I informed the Consulate in Toronto on April 7, 2011, of my expatriating act. I believe the ordinary folk like me are much higher than the published numbers suggest.

    The United States chases down the people like Saverin with laws like FATCA and HEART, and extra-territorial taxation, and millions of ordinary Americans living abroad will start planning their renunciation. Yes, tax policy has an effect. The US should be trying to make wealth accumulation in the United States more attractive rather than trying to chase it down when it wants to leave. Wealth goes where it is welcome. But the problem is that they try to chase it down and millions of little people are getting stomped on, little people who earned their money in countries like Canada, not in the United States.

  2. Yes, almost undoubtedly Carl Levin is going to seize on the opportunity to introduce a new Law of Unintended Consequences which is barely noticeable to people like Saverin but which makes life much worse for ordinary expats.

  3. To the Americans this guy has stuck two fingers up to the US taxation system. If people want to commit citizenship suicide what can the US do about? They want to leave the club. Ironically countries with residence based taxation have these people return sometimes because it wasn’t sour grapes when they left – and pay taxes. Hey Singapore has a top standard of living or the Yanks can’t admit that.

  4. Eduardo Saverin deserved the right to expatriate just like anyone else wanting to leave Hotel California for somewhere he considers to be better.

    Its just that his reasons are a bit different than those of ordinary ex-pats who have been living abroad for many years and earning their livings outside the US.

    Good luck Eduardo!

  5. I posted this comment on Dan Mitchell’s blog:

    “US citizenship for ordinary American ex-pats has become so carcinogenic that people are actually paying money to get rid of it.

    Something has gone seriously wrong. It’s called FATCA and citizenship-based taxation. And it’s provoking an exodus.

    As the implementation of FATCA approaches, the number of expatriations of American ex-pats will continue to rise.

    What on earth does the US government expect when it taxes its ex-pats who have no representation in congress and receive no services from the government?

    You don’t see ex-pats driving on US roads, attending US schools, using US fire, police, courts, hospitals etc. US ex-pats are not eligible for unemployment benefits or Medicare.

    I seem to recall a war being fought 236 years ago over this very same issue.

    Carl Levin, Charlie Rangel, Chuck Grassley need to dust off their history books and read about Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill etc, etc and ask themselves what caused the American colonists to declare independence from Great Britain?

    As William McGurn recently wrote in the WSJ:

    “True, 1,800 [renunciations] is a drop in the bucket compared with either the number of Americans working abroad or the number of foreigners who are seeking U.S. citizenship. Still, when it comes to the global inefficiencies of our tax code, these 1,800 ex-Americans are canaries in the coal mine.”

    In short, unless there is an about-face on citizenship-based taxation, America will lose its ex-pats.

    So long to American ex-pats; so long to American exports!”

  6. Excellent!! US citizenship-based taxation and reporting adversely affects all US persons abroad. There may be persons like my son at one end, unable to have the person who makes financial and legal decisions for him to renounce accidental American citizenship on his behalf — and those with the wealth of Eduardo Saverin. Mr. Saverin is indeed making a wise and legal move.

  7. One thing I don’t see mentioned much is that Saverin has always had Brazilian nationality (he was born there). Dual nationality is a new thing in Brazil (since 1994). The news makes it seem like he picked up Singaporean nationality due to its tax laws — choosing a citizenship of convenience that he has no family ties to. But in reality, he’s merely a resident there. Singapore does not recognize dual nationality in most cases.

    Saverin is and always has been Brazilian by nationality since birth.

    But I guess he’ll never be able to escape the accusation that he did it purely for money reasons because Americans assume that the only reason you’d ever renounce from the U.S. is because you’re filthy rich.

  8. “W.E.B. Du Bois, considered by many to be the father of the U.S. civil rights movement, renounced his citizenship and moved to Ghana, where he died in 1963 at the age of 95.”

    He did it for the Benjamins, eh?

  9. Pingback: Toronto Star Micahel Lewis, Saverin article: It’s about “Benign Actors” | The Isaac Brock Society

  10. I am in LA to visit my two married daughters and my son. We all have dual citizenship. I used to feel at home in the USA because I lived and worked for 30 years here. I used to feel welcomed. But now I have a strange feeling after the IRS recommended me to renounce my citizenship. Only because I complained that with 79 years I was living and Brazil and having to pay Social Security Self Employment taxes in two countries, knowing that this was not the case for all countries. And, I complained that I felt strange that while in Brazil I did not pay Income tax on my small pension and savings, I had to pay to the USA. All of this from my working in Brazil. Not one cent I ever moved from the USA to Brasil. And, I know that Americans living in France, for instance, do not pay IRS tax on their French pensions. Don’t I have the right to ask these questions without being asked to leave?

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