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Billionaires who don’t pay taxes aren’t all that bad. Really, they aren’t | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
ProPublica obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
ProPublica obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Published Jun. 22
Updated Jun. 22

Back off the billionaires

Secret IRS files show billionaires skip income taxes | June 20

I would like to add a little perspective to the article about billionaires and taxes. Amazon employs 1.3 million people around the world (World Economic Forum). Microsoft employs 163,000 (Forbes). Berkshire Hathaway — Warren Buffett’s company, which owns Geico, Kraft, Dairy Queen, Duracell, Fruit of the Loom among its 60-plus companies, employs about 368,000 people around the world (Forbes). The reason we have a middle class is because of wealth creation that is encouraged by our tax system. The article also failed to mention that our system has produced, literally, millions of millionaires. The article focused on old white men and did not give proper credit to the Black and women billionaires in our supposedly white supremist, patriarchal system. The article also failed to mention that the top 1% pay nearly 40% of all collected taxes each year (IRS.gov). Income taxes are only one of the kinds of taxes the Internal Revenue Service collects. And in case you are unaware of this, billionaires don’t actually need to be paid a salary.

Robert Bennett, Valrico

Tax code solutions

Secret IRS files show billionaires skip income taxes | June 20

Enough already. The whole income/wealth/tax issue is just a numbers game. The wealthy don’t pay a high percentage of wealth in taxes because they know how to limit their income, which is taxed, not accumulated wealth, which isn’t. Warren Buffett is in favor of increasing taxes on the rich, but his stock does not offer dividends, which are taxable, and he, as well as others, borrow money, rather than take income, because paying interest is less than the income tax rate.

It’s the tax code that needs to change. But if you tax accumulated wealth you will be hurting millions of people who have worked hard to get the financial freedom they have worked for, like me and my wife. I’m retired, she works, and we have a very modest retirement portfolio. I calculated our wealth that we “accumulated” in 2020 and what percentage we paid in taxes. We’re doing almost as well as Warren Buffett. Our tax was only one-half of one percent of our accumulated wealth for the year. But we both had incomes, made money on stock dividends and capital gains, and took the standard deduction. We didn’t have any business losses or made up deductions, or anything like that. We just did what the tax code allowed us to do.

David Lubin, Tampa