Jeff Bezos 2018 Richest billionaire on the list
Jeff Bezos – Amazon – $112 billion doesn’t pay taxes
and he uses Philanthropy for more tax write offs.
Davos 2019: Historian Rutger Bregman berates billionaires at World Economic Forum over tax avoidance
BUSINESS, BANKS, POLITICIANS HAVE BUILT A 170 BILLION DOLLAR TAX HAVEN
Historian Rutger Bregman
Industry had to “stop talking about philanthropy and start talking about taxes”, he said, and cited the high tax regime of 1950s America as an example to disprove arguments by business people at Davos such as Michael Dell that economies with high personal taxation could not succeed. “That’s it,” he says. “Taxes, taxes, taxes. All the rest is bullshit in my opinion.”
Winnie Byanyima, an Oxfam executive director, took up the fight and said high employment was not a good thing in itself because many people found themselves in exploitative work. She cited the example of poultry workers in the US who had to wear nappies (diapers) because they were not allowed toilet breaks.
“That’s not a dignified job,” she said. “those are the jobs we’ve been told about, that globalisation is bringing jobs. The quality of the jobs matter. In many countries workers no longer have a voice.
Addressing Goldman, she said: “You’re counting the wrong things. You’re not counting dignity of people. You’re counting exploited people.”
Billions of dollars were leaked by tax avoidance every year which should instead be going to alleviate poverty in the developing world, she added.
“The vast majority of Americans for years and years now … including Fox News viewers and including Republicans are in favor of higher taxes on the rich — higher inheritance taxes, higher top marginal tax rates, higher wealth taxes — it’s all really mainstream,” Bregman said. “But no one’s saying that at Davos just as no one’s saying that on Fox News. And the explanation for that’s quite simple, it’s that most of the people in Davos, as well as most of the people on this channel, have been bought by the billionaire class. You’re not meant to say these things.”
1993 politician paid policy initiative to constrain CEO pay was actually a loophole to not pay taxes.
1993, Bill Clinton and congressional Democrats tried to stop the growing pay inequality of Reagan-era America — Section 162(m) of the US Tax Code.
“Revenue that is paid out to employees as salaries and benefits is not profits, and thus doesn’t get taxed. But section 162(m) created an exception to that rule — any salary of over $1 million paid to top executives would not be deductible for tax purposes.
This was supposed to stop outrageous 1% executive compensation packages.
Except there was an exception to the exception
compensation that took the form of stock options or stock grants would still be deductible and
the loophole incentivize companies to use a lot of stock-based compensation for their executives.
WHAT STOCK BYBACK ACTUALLY MEANS
A company like AMAZON could give stock-based compensation by taking money out of Jeff Bezos’ bank account and using it to buy back shares on the open market and pay his executives with shares but no… that would involve using his real money.
Any company, just churns out shares of their stock anytime it wants to, kind of like an ICO of some cryptocurrency. This costs Amazon shareholders (or holders of andy crypto) where creating new shares devalues the existing ones, but it doesn’t really cost the company anything at all.
What a game!
This policy loop hole allowed AMAZON to get away with NO corporate income tax in 2018 despite the huge surge in profits.
AMAZON got away without paying any tax by giving executives stock-based compensation packages and the
eliminating what would otherwise have been a non-zero tax liability.
- research and development tax credit
- Trump tax bill included a temporary provision allowing companies to take a 100 percent tax deduction for investment in equipment.
2018 is the fact that companies can deduct the cost of stock-based compensation from their taxable earnings even though it doesn’t actually cost companies any money to hand out shares of their own stock to employees. The more your share price rises, the bigger the deduction for handing out shares.
- Why Mercer matters: “Mercer, who declined to comment for this article, has risen from relative obscurity to become one of the most influential figures in US conservatism.”
“Leaked documents … show how the billionaire Mercer family built a $60m war chest for conservative causes inside their family foundation by using an offshore investment vehicle to avoid US tax,” The Guardian reports:
- Do you think the Mercers will eventually fund 8 JCN billboards, one for each of the 8 Bermuda offshore tax avoidance vehicles they’ve been linked to in the Paradise Papers?