How do rich people avoid taxes?

Isn’t it true that the more money you make, the more taxes you have to pay?

Certainly not.

While the United States’ tax policy is designed to penalise high earnings, the ultra-rich frequently take advantage of rules that allow them to reduce their effective tax rate.

Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has often highlighted the gap, arguing that the wealthy should pay more taxes. To make that case, he famously stated that because the majority of his wealth is in stock rather than wage income, he pays lower taxes on a percentage basis than his secretary and other employees.

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett
Source: The Japan Times

The affluent’s ability to reduce their taxes is not new, but there has recently been a rising call to make the wealthiest pay more. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 earlier this month, has suggested a 2% annual tax on families with assets above $50 million and a 3% annual tax on households with assets over $1 billion. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, wants to raise the marginal tax rate on income over $10 million to 70%. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent, is considering raising the inheritance tax.

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed into law in late 2017, it revamped the current tax structure, lowering the tax band for the wealthiest income. The richest 1% of the population now pay a maximum rate of 37 percent on their taxable income, down from 39.6% previously. Still, it might eat a huge chunk out of a billionaire’s budget, so planning ahead on how to save is essential.

So, if you want to save money on taxes like the wealthy, it would be a good idea to see a financial adviser or a CPA.

While there are a variety of innovative methods for the wealthy to reduce their taxes, here are five of the most frequent tactics they are considering.


Giving money to non-profit organisations has long been a popular tax-deductible for the rich. Furthermore, under the new tax legislation, the amount you may deduct has grown from 50% to 60% of your adjusted gross income.


Increasing equity exposure while minimising losses

When it comes time to sell, the rich prefer to invest in stocks since the tax rates are generally lower than those on wage income – assuming the equity was held for more than a year. They also have the financial means to take larger risks.

For 2018, the long-term capital gains tax rates are zero, 15%, and 20%, depending on your income. Wage tax rates in the United States range from 10% for the lowest income to 37% for the highest earning. Short-term capital gains taxes are based on your federal tax bracket and apply to equities held for less than a year.

Managing assets as if they were a business

Creating a framework to manage various interests, such as a limited liability corporation, or LLC, is one method to save money on taxes. It might be a collection of assets, real estate, or a company.

Exemptions for estates and gifts

Gift and estate deductions assist reduce taxable income, but there’s an even stronger case to be made now.

The deductions have been temporarily increased thanks to the new tax legislation. Individuals can now claim up to $11.18 million, up from the previous maximum of $5.29 million in 2017. The exemption will expire at the end of 2025, therefore the affluent are taking advantage.

She noted that many of them are establishing long-term trusts, such as a Delaware Dynasty Trust, to allow money to be passed down from generation to generation. While it will be subject to income taxes along the way, if it satisfies the maximum, it will not be taxed as a gift and will not be liable to estate tax when the money is distributed.

Defined-benefit plan

A defined-benefit plan is a type of insurance that has a set of benefits.

A defined-benefit plan, which is comparable to an old-fashioned pension, allows business owners to put money aside for retirement.

Because of the new tax law’s limits on the 20% qualifying business income deduction, it is particularly tempting to the wealthy. For solo taxpayers, the QBI maximum is $157,500 in adjusted income, and for married couples filing jointly, it is $315,000 in adjusted income.