The “Ex-Patriot” Act – Dumb, and Unconstitutional?

May 17th, 2012

I couldn’t have made this up if I wanted to:

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey have a message for Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin: You should pay taxes despite renouncing your American citizenship.

The senators call Saverin’s move to renounce his citizenship last year “an outrage” and a “scheme” designed to skip out on the IRS — especially in light of the big payday he’ll get in Friday’s expected Facebook IPO.

Their plan would also bar expats like Saverin from ever re-entering the U.S.

The senators proposed the “Ex-PATRIOT” Act — which stands for “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” — in response to Saverin’s move, which they say will “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

How would people be identified as subject to this bill? I hope there would not be a list of names of certain offenders, such as Saverin–that would be a straight-up bill of attainder.

Ugh. This may as well be called the “Stay in Galt’s Gulch Bill.”

Update: Saverin replies. I doubt Chuck Schumer cares:


May 17, 2012

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. – Eduardo Saverin