Buffett: I Will Not Pay More In Taxes Than I Have To

Posted by: : Paul EbelingPosted on: May 1, 2014 Buffett: I Will Not Pay More In Taxes Than I Have To

Buffett: I Will Not Pay More In Taxes Than I Have To

KO, BRK-A, BRK-B

Warren Buffett says he will pay only what the law requires for personal taxes or for corporate taxes at his Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, BRK-B) empire, but that does not mean he thinks the US tax structure is perfect.

In a conversation recently he addressed the tide of criticism stemming from Coke’s (NYSE:KO) lavish new option package for its executives, and offered hint about his successor at Berkshire Hathaway.

Mr. Buffett said he is not above looking for tax breaks just because he is wealthy.

“Actually, Berkshire’s tax rate is pretty high if you look at it. If it could be lower, I would have it lower. I will do anything that is covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate.

“For example, on Wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of Wind farms. That is the only reason to build them. They do not make sense without the tax credit.”

Mr. Buffett noted he is not the only American who is not offering up his own money to help the debt-burdened United States reduce its huge and growing  deficits, he said Washington, DD, leaders are not opening up their personal purse strings, either.

“I will not pay a dime more of individual taxes than I owe, and I will not pay a dime more of corporate taxes than we owe. And that’ is very simple. In my case, I offered one time to match a voluntary payment that any Senators pay, and I offered to triple any voluntary payment that US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made, but they never took me up on it.”

As for the Coca-Cola multi-billion dollar executive option package that has caused the controversy, Mr. Buffett said there was little he could do to stop it despite being on the Coke board and Berkshire Hathaway being one of the company’s biggest shareholders.

Instead of voting against the option package, Mr. Buffett, who in the past has criticized overly rich executive pay, he abstained.

“I think we did take a stand in abstaining. That’s a very loud voice coming from Berkshire. It obviously means we do not approve of the plan,” he claimed.

As for stock options at Berkshire Hathaway, Mr. Buffett said he believes only the CEO should receive them. In making the remarks, he suggested the next CEO at his company will not be a woman.

“I actually have written, I may put it in the annual report next year, a memo to the board of directors of Berkshire as to what I think would be a sensible option plan for the CEO of Berkshire who succeeds me. And he would be, in this case it would be a he at the present time  the only one who would receive options because he would be the only one who is responsible for the overall success of the operation.”

Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting festivities in Omaha, NE., are getting underway for the event on 3 May.

The reason investors hang on to every word that Mr. Buffett speaks is because he speaks plainly, with little jargon.  Mr. Buffett’s plain speaking shows confidence, as you would expect he has nothing to prove, he has done it and continues to be successful.

Stay tuned…

HeffX-LTN

Paul Ebeling

 

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Paul Ebeling

Pattern Recognition Analyst, equities, commodities, forex
Paul Ebeling is best known for his work as writer and publisher of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly-regarded, weekly financial market letter, where he enjoys an international audience among opinion makers, business leaders, and respected organizations. Something of a pioneer in online stock market and commodities discussion and analysis, Ebeling has been online since 1994. He has studied and worked in the global financial and stock markets since 1984.
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