Corporate Tax Dodgers Are Unpatriotic Parasites!

THINK PROGRESS: The right-wing has been laudingFacebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin for his decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship in order to avoid taxes. But he isn’t the only one who’s going to slash his tax bill in the wake of Facebook’s upcoming initial public offering: both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the company itself will lower their tax bill for years to come. While Zuckerberg will pay a hefty tax bill right off the bat if he follows through on his plan to sell $5 billion in Facebook stock options, as the New York Times noted, he may then never pay a dime of taxes on the rest of his Facebook wealth. “Instead, he can simply use his stock as collateral to borrow against his tremendous wealth and avoid all tax,” the Times reported. MORE

CITIZENS FOR TAX JUSTICE: The tax law says that if a corporation issues options for employees to buy the company’s stock in the future for its price when the option issued, then if the stock has gone up in value when employees exercise the options, the company gets to deduct the difference between what the employee bought it for and its market price. When, as Facebook expects, the 187 million stock options are cashed in this year, Facebook will get $7.5 billion in tax deductions (which will reduce the company’s federal and state taxes by $3 billion). According to Facebook, these tax deductions should exceed the company’s U.S. taxable 2012 income and result in a net operating loss (NOL) that can then be carried back to the preceding two years to offset its past taxes, resulting in a refund of up to $500 million. MORE

THINK PROGRESS: Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook whose falling out with the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the subject of the 2010 blockbuster The Social Network, renounced his US citizenship last week, and the right has wasted no time labeling him a hero. Saverin, who owns a roughly four percent stake of Facebook, announced that he was expatriating last week, just in time to avoid paying a federal capital gains tax on the fortune heading his way when the social site files its IPO.Forbes Magazine, the conservative-leaning and business friendly magazine, ran an article with the headline “For De-Friending The U.S., Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Is An American Hero.” MORE

PHAWKER: No he isn’t. He’s an American freeloader. He’s an American sponge. A American mooch. In fact, he’s un-American. He reaped the benefits of trillions of American taxpayer dollars that underwrite the infrastructure, education system, public health, economy, and security of te country that made it possible for him to amass his wealth and now he wants to weasel his way out his end of the bargain. Not only is that dishonest, sleazy and unethical, it’s downright unpatriotic.

PANDODAILY: When Eduardo Saverin was 13, his family discovered that his name had turned up on a list of victims to be kidnapped by Brazilian gangs. Saverin’s father was a wealthy businessman in São Paulo, and it was inevitable that he’d attract this kind of unwanted attention. Now the family had to make a permanent decision. They hastily arranged a move out of the country. And of all the places in the world they could move to, the Saverin family saw only one option. They took their talents to Miami. Would it be too much to say that America saved Eduardo Saverin? Probably. Maybe that’s just too overwrought. The Saverins were just another in a long line of immigrants who’d come to America for the opportunity it affords—the opportunity, among other things, to not have to worry that your child will be kidnapped just because you’ve become wealthy. Just because his parents moved here doesn’t mean Eduardo Saverin owes America anything, right? Yet if you study the trajectory of Saverin’s life—the path that took him from being an immigrant kid to a Harvard student to an instant billionaire to the subject of an Oscar-winning motion picture—it emerges as a uniquely American story. At just about every step between his landing in Miami and his becoming a co-founder of Facebook, you find American institutions and inventions playing a significant part in his success. Would Eduardo Saverin have been successful anywhere else? Maybe, but not as quickly, and not as spectacularly. It was only thanks to America—thanks to the American government’s direct and indirect investments in science and technology; thanks to the U.S. justice system; the relatively safe and fair investment climate made possible by that justice system; the education system that educated all of Facebook’s workers, and on and on—it was only thanks to all of this that you know anything at all about Eduardo Saverin today. MORE

TALKING POINTS MEMO: New legislation announced Thursday aims to crack down on Americans who renounce their citizenship in order to avoid paying taxes. It would force them to pay a 30 percent tax on all future U.S. investments and prohibit them from ever setting foot in the country again. The “Ex-PATRIOT Act” was unveiled in the Capitol by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Casey (D-PA), who made no secret that bill was inspired by Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who is in the news after renouncing his U.S. citizenship just in time to avoid paying taxes on a large windfall, and relocating to Singapore, which does not levy capital gains taxes. “Eduardo Saverin wants to de-friend the United States of America just to avoid paying taxes and we aren’t going to let him get away with it,” Schumer said. “This is a great American success story gone horribly wrong.” “This guy thinks he can just rip us off by engaging in this scheme,” Casey said. “Mr. Saverin spits in the eye of the American people when he does this.” Under the bill, Americans who renounce citizenship and have a net worth of at least $2 million or an average 5-year income tax liability of $148,000 or more would be presumed to have done so to duck taxes, and would face a heavy burden to prove otherwise. Those found by the IRS to have renounced citizenship to avoid taxes would be subject to a 30 percent tax on future U.S. investments irrespective of where they live, Schumer said. MORE