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Saverin: 'I'm ready to pay what I owe'

Under increasing pressure to pay taxes after IPO, Facebook co-founder says he will "pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen."

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
2 min read

A statement from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin says he will pay taxes on investment profits he earned while an American citizen. But this is not a change of his previous position.

Earlier today, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he planned legislation aimed at refusing U.S. visas to anyone believed to have renounced their citizenship as a ploy to avoid paying taxes. It would also levy a 30 percent capital gains tax. (Watch video of Schumer's statement below.)

"Eduardo Saverin wants to defriend the U.S. just to avoid paying taxes and we aren't going to let him get away with it," Schumer said.

Saverin, who lives in Singapore, a nation without a capital gains tax, filed to renounce his U.S. citizenship in 2011. In a statement sent out by his public relations firm on Thursday, Saverin said:

My decision to expatriate was based solely on my interest in working and living in Singapore, where I have been since 2009. I am obligated to and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government. I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen. It is unfortunate that my personal choice has led to a public debate, based not on the facts, but entirely on speculation and misinformation.

As a native of Brazil who immigrated to the United States, I am very grateful to the U.S. for everything it has given me. In 2004, I invested my life's savings into a start-up company that initially was run out of a college dorm room. Since then the company has expanded dramatically, has created thousands of jobs in the United States and elsewhere, and spawned countless new companies across the United States and other countries.

I will continue to invest in U.S. businesses and start-ups, and believe and hope that those investments will create many new jobs in the U.S. and globally. I also hope that these investments will create opportunities for many other individuals to start companies and benefit society.

The spokesman for Saverin said there had been "no change in position." Responding to the early confusion after the dissemination of Saverin's statement, the spokesman said that he thought "those semantics might be a bit confusing, that's all."

Watch this: Senator: Saverin has turned his back on U.S.