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Buffett Weighs In on Tax-Free Philanthropy

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Buffett says that philanthropy can be a powerful tax shield, if donors want it to be. Buffett’s 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 isn’t taxed until it’s sold.

  • Buffett has criticized “huge 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. “It is fitting that Congress periodically revisits the tax policy for charitable contributions, particularly in respect to donors who get ‘imaginative,’” he said.

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

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