Billionaire Warren Buffett released an official statement to Donald Trump on Monday following Trump remarks during Sunday’s debate when he said “many of her friends took bigger deductions. Warren Buffett took a massive deduction.”
In a statement, Buffett’s rebuked, “Mr. Trump says he knows more about taxes than any other human. He has not seen my income tax returns. But I am happy to give him the facts.”
The investment guru reported that he had an adjusted gross income of $11.6 million in 2015 and deducted $5.5 million. A large portion of the deductions, $3.5 million in total, were from charitable contributions. Buffett paid $1.9 million in income tax in 2015.
“I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944, when I was 13,” he stated.
He asserts that he has never used a carryforward to avoid paying income tax. Buffett, known for his philanthropy, also gave $2.858 billion to charity last year. He stated $2.85 billion was not taken as a deduction and never will be. Tax laws limit charitable deductions to $3.5 million.
Buffett and Bill Gates created the Giving Pledge in 2010 that includes numerous billionaires that have pledged to give away the majority of their wealth during their lifetime. Buffett pledged $2.9 billion in July to the initiative. The pledge includes 154 individuals, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.