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   제목: Buffett Weighs In on Tax-Free Philanthropy


Buffett Weighs In on Tax-Free Philanthropy



By Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jason Karaian, Sarah Kessler, Stephen Gandel, Michael J. de la Merced, Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni



Billionaires giving goes under the spotlight

News yesterday that Warren Buffett had resigned from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has raised questions about the foundation뭩 future after the impending divorce of its namesake founders. Buffett뭩 resignation announcement also attracted new attention to the billions the wealthy give to charity and the tax breaks they get for doing so.

Buffett says that he has given more than $41 billion to charity over the years. He announced $4.1 billion in donations yesterday. This comes weeks after a ProPublica expos based on confidential I.R.S. data revealed how much the richest Americans paid in taxes. The article noted that Buffett paid $23.7 million in taxes from 2014 to 2018, a period when his wealth grew by an estimated $24 billion.

Billionaire giving has become a hot topic of debate. Polling by Recode this year suggested that Americans believed higher taxes on the wealthy would be more beneficial to society than more donations from the wealthy. Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike have questioned whether billionaires donations are reaching their intended recipients quickly enough or at all. Two years ago, Andrew cited Buffett뭩 donations of stock as an example of a loophole in the tax code.



Buffett says that philanthropy can be a powerful tax shield, if donors want it to be. Buffett뭩 donations, he said yesterday, resulted in only 40 cents in tax savings per $1,000 given. The reason his tax bill is so low, he said, was because he earns relatively little in wages, amassing most of his wealth from his holdings of Berkshire Hathaway stock, which isn뭪 taxed until it뭩 sold.

뷓uffett has criticized 밾uge dynastic wealth, and his arguments for higher taxes on the wealthy led to the so-called Buffett Rule, a proposed minimum tax on millionaires and billionaires. Yesterday, he reiterated his support for overhauling the tax code. 밒t is fitting that Congress periodically revisits the tax policy for charitable contributions, particularly in respect to donors who get 멼maginative,뮅 he said.


What do you think? Should the tax treatment of philanthropy change? If so, how? Let us know: dealbook@nytimes.com. Include your name and location, and we may feature your response in a future newsletter.

Excerpts articles from Bloomberg
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