Photo: AP Images
Last week it was reported that Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook, was renouncing his U.S. citizenship ahead of the company’s IPO.But Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings, who is a U.S. citizen and moved to Singapore in 2007, said Saverin renounced his citizenship a few months ago:
“The press seemed to say he did it to avoid [taxes], he has to pay taxes. He had to pay huge taxes, hundreds of millions of dollars to give up his citizenship and if it [Facebook] hadn’t gone public or if something had gone wrong with the IPO, he would have been in a real bind.
When you give up your American citizenship, it’s not fair as far as i’m concerned, but the rules are that you have to pay everything, you have to pay taxes on everything you own and then you can leave. I mean no other country in the world does that, we’ve got our own Berlin Wall, it’s very expensive to leave, to give up your citizenship. Iran, North Korea and Cuba, and some countries it’s impossible, very expensive to give up your citizenship.”
Rogers moved to Singapore because he wanted his children to grow up fluent in Mandarin, but he said the country is very pro-business and is in the top 3 worldwide for doing business.
He said if people are discouraged with the U.S. should consider moving away but that it was a deeply “personal and difficult choice”, and added that there’s nothing wrong with it, that “this country was built on people who gave up their citizenship.”
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