WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- Two U.S. lawmakers announced legislation Thursday to punish Americans who renounce their citizenship to dodge taxes.
Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania unveiled the "Ex-Patriot Act" at a press conference Thursday, a response to Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, an American citizen born in Brazil who now resides in Singapore and who renounced his citizenship in September 2011 in a move that will save him an estimated $67 million to $100 million in U.S. taxes.
Schumer said Saverin's actions were "an outrage," adding Saverin "wants to de-friend the United States of America just to avoid paying taxes. We aren't going to let him get away with it." He said Saverin "turned his back on the country that welcomed him and kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire."
Casey called it "an insult to the American people" that "cries out for some basic justice."
The proposed bill, explained in a news release Thursday, requires a renounced citizens' U.S. assets to be taxed at 30 percent, double the usual rate, if he or she is determined to have a net worth of exceeding $2 million or an average tax liability of $148,000 over the last five years.
While the U.S. Constitution forbids Congress from passing laws to punish an individual, Schumer said his bill would apply to anyone in a situation similar to Saverin's, The Hill reported.