Facebook co-founder and billionaire, Eduardo Saverin, has been getting a lot of bad press lately because of his decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship to save himself millions in tax dollars. As Jay Bookman explains, “you can come to the United States and take advantage of all it offers — its legal system, its education system, its markets, its infrastructure, its creativity — and become rich, then flee elsewhere when it comes time to pay taxes on that wealth.”
Saverin’s actions have prompted elected officials to propose an “Ex-PATRIOT” act that would ban him from entering the country again and to impose a mandatory 30% tax on any individuals who renounce their U.S. citizenship. Individuals on the opposing side of the coin argue that if the U.S. had lower and competitive tax rates, then we would not have an issue of tax refugees.
We’re not interested in taking political sides of this debate but want to highlight the question of extending a hand or living with a closed fist. Is it excessively greedy not to pay $67M to a country that afforded you an opportunity to make $4B? Even if the Ex-PATRIOT act goes through and Saverin is no longer allowed into the U.S., he should remember that karma knows no bounds. What goes around comes around and freedom isn’t free–it’s priceless.