Image: Hedge Fund Billionaire Paulson May Use Puerto Rico as Tax Shield

Billionaire John Paulson may move to Puerto Rico to escape U.S. taxation. (Photo © Bryan Smith/ZUMAPESS.com)

Hedge Fund Billionaire Paulson May Use Puerto Rico as Tax Shield

Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013 11:40 AM

By Cyrus Afzali

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New York hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson is reportedly considering relocating to Puerto Rico in an effort to shield his fortune from U.S. taxes.

According to The Financial Times, Paulson began considering the move after Puerto Rico passed a new law designed to encourage wealthy individuals to relocate there. Puerto Rico’s move comes as U.S. lawmakers are considering the elimination of a tax break known as carried interest that would greatly impact alternative asset management partnerships.

While Paulson would normally be taxed on his worldwide income even if he moved to another country, Puerto Rico’s law gives new immigrants a potential exemption on U.S. capital gains taxes, in addition to a tax break on income generated by a business based in Puerto Rico.

Those wishing to take advantage of the tax break must spend at least 183 days in Puerto Rico annually and prove they have existing family and social ties there. Paulson is one of the largest individual shareholders of Banco Popular, the largest bank in the U.S. territory.

A spokesman for Paulson & Co. declined to comment on the potential move but did confirm Paulson has looked at real estate investments in Puerto Rico.

Paulson, reportedly worth an estimated $11.2 billion, is a native New Yorker and just last year donated $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy, The Financial Times noted.

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