Linkages

Booting Up: Maybe You’d Be More Qualified If You Were a College Dropout

(Photo: flickr.com/kla4067)

In a talk at DLD, Ben Horowitz revealed that his VC firm had closed (non-seed) investments in a mere 24 companies, most of them created by “college dropouts with insane ideas going after tiny markets with no way to monetize.” [TechCrunch]

France is considering creating an Internet tax, levied on the collection of personal information. As far as French ideas go, we prefer the croissant. [New York Times]

Speaking of Waterloo: Atari’s U.S. arm has declared bankruptcy in an attempt to escape its French parent company. The second plank of this plan is presumably to time-travel back to the late 70s. [L.A. Times]

Some poor kid’s been expelled from Montreal College for daring to discover a software vulnerability that left 250,000 students’ information exposed. [National Post]

Graph search is a “privacy test” for Facebook. Given that users of the site freak out at phantom privacy crises, this’ll be fun. [New York Times]

New Money

Wealthfront’s New Service Helps the Tech Set Easily Dodge Taxes

These people have monies. (Photo: Wealthfront)

You work hard for that six-figure salary. Heads down and standing desk up, evening coding sessions bleed into all-nighters with the ease of a mouse click. So when it comes time to hand over some of that hard-earned cash to the government for taxes, it’s understandable that you’d be a little ruffled. “Why can’t I find tax loopholes like that guy Mitt Romney?” you might wonder angrily as you zip down the 101 in your company-leased BMW. “Life is just not fair.” Read More

Facebook Faceoff

Eduardo Saverin’s Move to Renounce Citizenship Was Totally Just a Coincidence

Mr. Saverin (therichest.org)

It may look like Eduardo Saverin, international playboy and man of very few public pursuits, renounced his American citizenship in favor of a lesser tax bill, but that’s just a coincidence, you guys. A very unfortunate coincidence. Mr. Saverin actually filed to renounce his citizenship way back in January 2011, because there’s no way he could have had the slightest inkling that Facebook might go public soon, being a cofounder and all.

“I’m not a tax expert,” he told the New York Times, while refusing to offer any other explanation for why he’d agree to a move that could mean he is never allowed back into the U.S. again. “This had nothing to do with taxes,” he insisted.

Okay then. Read More

Facebook Faceoff

Forfeiting U.S. Citizenship is the Hip New Way to Dodge Taxes on Your Post-IPO Dough

Mr. Saverin (therichest.org)

If you’re a dual citizen, and you think the U.S. helps itself to far too large a chunk of your hard-earned cash, here’s a new lesson from Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin: renounce your citizenship, and you, too, can avoid a hefty tax bill.

Bloomberg reports that Mr. Saverin, a Brazilian-born resident of Singapore, has decided to forfeit his U.S. citizenship days before Facebook’s IPO, in “a move that may reduce his tax bill.” They pulled the information from a list published by the Internal Revenue Service that names people who have decided to renounce their citizenship as of April 30th. Read More

Creative Accounting

Apple’s Accountants Are Apparently Insanely Great at Their Jobs

Braeburn Apples (flickr.com/deborahfitchett)

Apple is famously innovative on the product side, but what of the corporate accounting team? Not a discipline known for its “Think Different” ethos, right? Well, judging from this New York Times piece outlining in excruciating detail how the company reduces its tax liability, the accountants may be the most creative people on the payroll.

The numbers: Last year Apple reported $34.2 billion in profits and paid $3.3 billion in cash taxes globally, which works out to a tax rate around 9.8 percent. (Wal-Mart paid something more like 24 percent.) That stands out even among other technology companies on the S&P 500, who report something like a third less taxes than non-tech companies. Read More