Warren Buffett Reveals ‘Billionaire Friendly’ Tax Return
Billionaire Warren Buffett revealed he made $62,855,038 last year, though his taxable income was only $39,814,784.
In a letter to Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., obtained by the Associated Press on Wednesday, Buffett revealed his adjusted gross income to the super committee member in his quest to persuade Congress to raise taxes for the rich. Buffett has argued that the wealthy do not pay their fair share of taxes compared with the middle-class.
The letter was one of several to members of Congress as the so-called super committee decides how to trim $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.
This summer, Buffett’s op-ed in the New York Times argued for an increase in taxes for the rich, saying the they are “coddled” by Congress “as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species.” He wrote: “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”
In the letter, Buffett wrote that he paid $6,938,744 in federal taxes last year, or 17.4 percent of his taxable income.
His taxable income subtracts exemptions and itemized deductions, such as charitable donations, certain business expenses and state and local taxes, from his adjusted gross income. Buffett, who is known to have a relatively simple lifestyle for a billionaire, has long advocated for the rich to donate their wealth to charitable causes. Buffett and Bill Gates helped launch the Giving Pledge in June 2010, asking the super-wealthy to donate half their fortune to philanthropic causes.
In September, President Obama proposed the “Buffett rule,” explaining that those earning $1 million or more should be taxed at similar rates as the middle-class .
Buffett, worth about $39 billion, is the second richest person in the U.S. after Gates ($59 billion), according to Forbes’ list of richest people in the country released in September.
Buffet’s wealth fell $6 billion in the past year, losing the most total dollars in Forbes’ list. He gave away $3.27 billion in the past year and was affected by a 10 percent decrease in the shares of Berkshire Hathaway, where he is CEO.