Sen. Schumer proposes U.S. tax on people like Facebook's Saverin

WASHINGTON — Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., proposed legislation Thursday that would impose a 30 percent capital gains tax on people such as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin unless they show they didn't renounce their U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes.

News that Saverin, 30, had renounced his U.S. citizenship and will call Singapore his official home was reported this month in advance of today's initial public offering that now values the social network at as much as $104 billion.

He will save at least $67 million in federal income taxes by dropping his citizenship, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of the company's stock price.

"Eduardo Saverin wants to de-friend the United States of America just to avoid paying taxes," Schumer said. "We aren't going to let him get away with it."

Schumer's proposal would empower the Internal Revenue Service to impose a 30 percent capital gains tax on future investment gains of wealthy individuals who the agency decides renounced their citizenship for tax-avoidance purposes. It also would bar such people from re-entering this country. He said he will move the legislation "as quickly as possible."

"This tax-avoidance scheme is outrageous," Schumer said. "This is a great American success story gone horribly wrong."

Saverin's stake in Facebook is about 4 percent, according to the website whoownsfacebook.com, and may be worth as much as $2.89 billion.

Sen. Schumer proposes U.S. tax on people like Facebook's Saverin 05/17/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:27pm]

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