You can now read 10 articles a month for free. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

JEFF JACOBY

Tax-avoidance emigration is logical, lawful

AS THE son of one American immigrant and the father of another, I find it hard to muster much empathy for Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and his decision to renounce his US citizenship. Saverin, who was born in Brazil and brought to this country as a child, turned in his American passport last year and moved to Singapore; it is widely assumed that he did so to reduce the taxes he would otherwise have to pay on the billion-dollar gains generated by Facebook’s IPO. Saverin denies, not very convincingly, that his expatriation was motivated by tax considerations. “His decision had nothing to do with dissatisfaction here,” a spokesman said, “but with his strong desire to do business there.”

Well, it takes all kinds to make a global economy, and maybe Saverin genuinely prefers doing business in a quasi-authoritarian society where freedom of the press is unknown. Singapore’s economy is one of the world’s freest, and its taxes are considerably lower than America’s. If such things matter more to Saverin than the blessings that come with American citizenship, it was always his right to leave. At least he had the grace to describe himself as “very grateful to the US for everything it has given me.”

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week