What Facebook's Eduardo Saverin Is Really Taking With Him
Of course, by now you've heard about Eduardo Saverin, former friend of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's initial financier, having dumped his U.S. citizenship, in what many view as a bid to ditch a tax burden that could, if predictions about Facebook's IPO valuation come true, be over $600,000,000.
According to The Tax Foundation, the amount of Federal income taxes paid by ALL Americans in 2009 equalled $865,863,000,000. Saverin's savings of $600,000,000 on Facebook earnings would equate to 0.06% of all taxes paid by Americans just 2 short tax cycles ago. With over 137 Million returns sent in during the 2009 tax year, this means Saverin dodged on an amount equal to the average contributions of 82,200 of his former fellow American taxpayers.
Saverin's wealthy family fled São Paulo, Brazil when he was just eleven, because they'd discovered that young Eduardo was being targeted for kidnapping and subsequent ransoming. Where did the family run to, in order to provide a safe environment for their son to grow to his potential? Miami, Florida. The citizenship Eduardo tossed aside so easily was a hard-won symbol to his parents that their lives were better, because they were in the great Nation we've all built together. All contributed toward, whether we liked our tax burden or not.
Was it legal for Saverin to ditch his citizenship prior to the IPO release, and consequently avoid any raise in his overall stock's value? Absolutely - in fact, some in Congress have been asked to consider revoking his Visa in response - an act with little chance of success, given there is no tangible evidence found thus far that Saverin made the citizenship move to dodge taxes. Was it moral? Depends on the background of who you ask. Was it the right thing to do?
How about I break down the value of Saverin's savings in a more tangible way, and simply let you decide how you'd answer that last question?
- Remember the tax stimulus checks of 2009, given to hard working Americans, designed to help our still-troubled economy? Saverin's self-created stimulus amounts to 750,000 Americans receiving the maximum $800 benefit.
- Saverin's highly-educated tax attorneys kept him from lending the rest of us a hand in paying for over 14,900 elementary school teachers, who work hard each day helping kids like young Eduardo assimilate in our Nation for a mere $40,200/year. In fact, Saverin's savings equates to a teacher's annual salary every 9 minutes for a full year.
- There are approximately 1,100 officers serving the Miami Police Department. With an average annual salary of $46,000, the number of uniformed officers who kept the Saverin family safe in the city they fled to so many years ago, could be increased by 900%. That is, if Eduardo stuck around town, and was in a giving mood.
- According to College Crunch, it runs $47,215 to attend (and live on) Harvard University's campus, where Eduardo Saverin attended and was lucky enough to have made young Mark Zuckerberg's friendship when Facebook was being created. If Eduardo had stuck around and paid up like the rest of us, Federal student loans could send the children of every single Miami Police officer to Eduardo's alma mater for a full four-year ride. Three times over.
- If Saverin wanted to lend a hand to other Americans who've helped him along the way, his $600,000,000 savings could send a quarter of all Immigration and Naturalization Services' 15,500 employees to Harvard for a four-year ride.