Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world, largely thanks to his early tech venture, Microsoft, which developed the first PC software in the world. Currently aged 62, he also owns Cascade Investment, a company with headquarters in Kirkland, Washington. With an estimated net worth of about $90 billion, he and his wife Melinda Gates now dedicate most of their time to running the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on helping people with few resources get out of poverty and live better lives.
That said, he has reportedly paid more than $10 billion in taxes over the years, but personally prefers if people like him paid more. He revealed this during a recent interview with CNN, in which he stated, “I need to pay higher taxes. I’ve paid more taxes, over $10 billion, than anyone else, but the government should require people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes.”
His statement has been echoed by similarly wealthy individuals such as Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. In an interview with CNBC, he stated that there were flaws in the code, referencing the estate tax to prove his point. He gave an example of his own kids and grandchildren and discussed the scenario of him leaving them an inheritance of more than a billion dollars each. If the estate tax was done away with, they would not have to pay any taxes to receive it, as opposed to if they had actually worked for the money, which would then be classified as earnings.
According to Bloomberg, a person earning an income of $300,000 a year would have to pay about $38,500 to the IRS. However, anyone living on unearned income, such as dividends and capital gains, gets a break. This means that billionaires such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates can pay just $40,000 in taxes a year.
According to recent research, the rich have gotten considerably richer, with their wealth growing considerably faster in the past two years. Apparently, the world’s richest top 1 percent own more than half of all the wealth in the world. Countries with the biggest gains include South Africa, Poland, and Israel. This is according to a report by The Economist.