Buffett: I Made $63M Last Year, Should Pay More

He paid about $7M in federal income tax
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2011 8:03 PM CDT
Warren Buffett is pressing his case for the ultra-rich to pay more in taxes.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Warren Buffett got back in the public fray over taxes today with a letter to GOP congressman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas. Highlights:

  • Buffett wrote that his adjusted gross income last year was $62.8 million and his taxable income was $39.8 million. He paid $6.9 million in federal income tax, making his rate about 17.4%. (The big difference in his gross and taxable income is due to deductions on donations to charity and local taxes, reports CNNMoney.)
  • He also paid $15,300 in payroll taxes.
  • Buffett says he got off easy because much of his income came from investments as opposed to wages: "People who make money with money are getting taxed at a far lower rate than people who make money by their own labor."

  • He declined Huelskamp's request to release his full tax return but said he would do so if other "ultra-rich" people did the same.
  • Huelskamp called Buffett's letter inadequate. "By sheltering millions of dollars of income from taxation through charitable giving, Mr. Buffett demonstrates that he doesn't trust Washington with his own money either."
  • For comparison: The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says people who make between $34,000 and $60,000 have a 12% tax rate, including payroll and income taxes, notes the Wall Street Journal. The rate is 20.4% for those making $211,000 to $533,000.

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