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Jeff Bezos Claimed $4k in Tax Credits for His Children (businessinsider.com)
20 points by haskellandchill 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments

It seems like this is more of a critique on the tax-code than anything else. By not realizing any gains, and taking a small salary it seems like an exception to the tax code wasn't meant to handle. I think we can all agree that the tax code if full of cruft, and could use some refactoring.

Additionally, I would wager any amount of money that Bezos outsources his taxes to professionals. So his name is only used for click bait.

I also am confident Bezos paid sales tax, property tax, and other taxes during this period.

So if we as a society are not happy with our federal income tax code, we should revise it. (Wouldn't it be amazing if it worked more like an opensource project, where we could git blame and do some root cause analysis)

I am not a fan of Bezos - in fact the opposite.

However, in this case, does Bezos do his own taxes or pay someone and say "optimize my taxes" and they do their job?

Most tax software will automatically claim all such credits like this. Somebody would probably have to go out of their way to opt out of receiving the credit.

Sure, many are just doing their job. At some point we all have to say enough, from the billionaires to the accountants to the government to the people at the bottom, we are all responsible for what is happening.

Since when Bexos responsible for the government?

He funds influence campaigns that lobby officials and owns media companies that try to sway public opinion.

If I was Jeff I'd pay taxes, I wouldn't try to get write offs even if they were available out of principle.

The tax code should be much simpler than it is. Instead of call this crazy schemes, the tax rate should be lower and flat a la sales tax. Your revenue/income is X, you pay 10% of X without allowing any deductions. This will bring a lot more money in taxes, make taxation simpler and fairer. Also, with the recent COVID-19 stimulus - how can the income brackets be the same in metro areas with vastly different cost of living? Trying to be "fair", often government create new types of unfairness.

I think the article has merit but the title is pure clickbait. Whether Jeff Bezos takes $4k tax credit from Uncle Sam or not is literally a rounding error on both sides. But I guess that drives clicks.

I think its about the principal and ethics involved more than the actual financial impact.

If the principle is "Tax level should consider both income and wealth", which I agree with, then we should look at what's a reasonable level of taxation for billionaires with no taxable income, not get hung up on child credits.

If the principle is "Things like child tax credits should have a special limitation against billionaires", then I disagree with it, well, on principle. Tax system should be simple, not complicated. Having a complicated tax system is what benefits unscrupulous billionaires because then nobody can figure out exactly what they're paying and what they should be paying. Also, maybe it's just me, but the argument sounds disturbingly similar to "People buying latest iPhones don't deserve welfare checks!" - just in the other direction.

Well as it stands today, the literal richest person on the planet claimed a tax credit meant for median working class incomes.

The issue here is that these benefits (here tax credits for children) often only take the person's cash income over the year. In general cash in the bank or liquid assets are not taken into account, which I'm guessing is why Bezos qualified: if you have millions in the bank but zero cash income in a given year then suddenly you qualify for many benefits.

Yep, this is precisely why we need a wealth tax.

Why exactly do ‘we’ ‘need’ a wealth tax?

Either you’re making several leaps of faith about how much good that money would do, or you just hate anybody that has something you don’t.

But... I will admit that it could make more sense to pay the government for protection of property, than personal productivity.

I don't need a wealth tax. I don't need the government to create and exact one. So, no, "We" don't need a wealth tax. It doesn't seem like an elegant solution. I do think the ultra-rich can pay slightly more taxes but IMO this is not the way to go about it; instead, close loopholes etc.

It doesn't really seem like an elegant solution. Define wealth.

We can't even appraise homes fairly, for middle class folks that can afford them. How are we going to evaluate the wealth of billionaires?

I don't follow. Why? If there's no income earned, why should someone pay rent on deposits in a bank account?

So what? "Wealth" is NOT income. Geez.

Shouldn't he claim it?

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