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Treasury Secretary Yellen Rejects Global Billionaire Tax: Big Relief For Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates And Mark Zuckerberg

Published 20/05/2024, 23:02
© Reuters.  Treasury Secretary Yellen Rejects Global Billionaire Tax: Big Relief For Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates And Mark Zuckerberg
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Benzinga - by Piero Cingari, Benzinga Staff Writer.

The U.S. has taken a firm stance against a proposed global wealth tax on billionaires, as announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

This idea, championed by Brazil, France and other nations, aims to reduce economic inequality by targeting the global billionaires.

Yellen emphasized that while the U.S. supports progressive taxation, it cannot back a worldwide initiative of this nature, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

“We're not supportive of a process to try to achieve that. That's something we can't sign on to," she said.

As the leader of the Group of 20 major economies, Brazil has urged the group to develop a unified approach to taxing extremely wealthy individuals who often relocate their funds to low-tax jurisdictions.

The goal is to create a system similar to the global minimum tax on corporations, agreed upon by roughly 140 countries in 2021, though the rollout has faced significant obstacles, particularly in the U.S.

Although the Biden administration has proposed significant tax increases for high-income Americans, it has avoided advocating for a wealth tax, which involves collecting a portion of an individual’s net worth annually. Instead, President Joe Biden has proposed a plan that would require Americans with a net worth exceeding $100 million to pay a 25% tax on their total earnings each year, including unrealized capital gains.

Yellen made it clear the U.S. would not endorse discussions on a global wealth tax. She is set to meet with finance ministers from the Group of Seven advanced democracies later this week, where this topic is expected to be on the agenda.

G20 Discussions On Billionaire Tax As reported by the Financial Times on Sunday, French economist Gabriel Zucman presented a proposal for a global billionaire's tax to G20 finance ministers in February, at the request of Brazil.

Officials from Brazil, France, Spain, Germany and South Africa have discussed a plan requiring billionaires to pay taxes equivalent to at least 2% of their overall wealth annually.

Supporters of the global wealth tax argue that a coordinated effort would prevent the wealthy from moving their assets to tax-friendly countries. This would enable governments to raise more tax revenue to support other priorities and address the growing income inequality.

“The super-rich will fight it tooth and nail, but yes — we will have, one day, a coordinated minimum tax on the super-rich. And perhaps sooner than you think!” Zucman commented on social media X.

Dominance Of American Billionaires According to the Forbes 2024 Billionaires List, the United States dominates with 26 billionaires in the top 50, including nine out of the top 10.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), is the richest U.S. citizen and ranks second globally with a net worth of $195 billion, just behind Bernard Arnault.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com and Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, follow closely with fortunes of $194 billion and $134 billion, respectively.

Other prominent U.S. billionaires include Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms Inc.; Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.; and Larry Ellison, CTO of Oracle Corp.,highlighting the significant presence and influence of American entrepreneurs and business leaders on the global stage.

Rank Name Net Worth (Billion USD) Age Country Industry
1 Bernard Arnault & family 233 74 France Fashion & Retail
2 Elon Musk 195 52 United States Automotive
3 Jeff Bezos 194 60 United States Technology
4 Bill Gates 134 68 United States Technology
5 Mark Zuckerberg 122 39 United States Technology
6 Warren Buffett 121 93 United States Finance & Investments
7 Larry Ellison 120 79 United States Technology
8 Steve Ballmer 101 68 United States Technology
9 Larry Page 100 50 United States Technology
10 Sergey Brin 98 50 United States Technology
Data: Forbes Billionaires List (as of May 20, 2024)

Read now: Dow To Reach 60,000, S&P 500 To Hit 8,000 By 2030 In Wall Street Veteran’s ‘Roaring 2020s Scenario’

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Benzinga file photo by Dustin Blitchok.

© 2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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