In light of the recent tit-for-tat between Elon Musk and Liz Warren where she called him a freeloader I would like to know how billionaires actually do pay their daily way. Elon said he did not pay income tax at times as he had no income and he takes no salary from his companies. From what is mostly said on the internet these wealthy guys have hardly any cash; all their wealth lies in investments and stock etc.
Every month I have to pay rent/mortgage, council tax, water, electricity, gas, phone bill, school fees, car financing, fuel for my car and go and buy groceries; you know, the usual monthly expenditures we all have. I do have some perks and benefits with my employer but they are all taxable benefits. As example things like a company car and/or fuel card or subsidised medical aid etc. Depending on how many taxable benefits you have, they all erode your personal allowance until you get to the wonderful K tax code…
Now if they have no income how do they pay for these daily bills, costs and expenditures? Who, or how do they pay their credit cards every month? If their company pays for this then surely it must be a taxable benefit? Sure, they might have a million or two, three in the bank but with their high lifestyle that will quickly run dry. Who tops up their bank account?
Sure, they have aides taking care of the daily nifty-gritty but who pays their salaries. If all this is supplied by their company then surely it must be a taxable benefit?
I’m not attacking the rich and famous; kudos to them for all their achievements! I’m just quite curious as to how they operate compared to us regular salary-men (and women)
I’m sure they are liable for some taxation and do pay in other ways. No doubt they employ specialist tax advisors to ‘sort this out’ and attempt to offset assets as a tax deduction. Billionaires do pay tax as we all do. They have buy things as we all do which is subject to tax.
Many billionaires will secure a loan at a low apr against their stocks. Loans are not income so there is no tax to pay. There will be a day when tax is due when you sell stock like Elon did last year but I believe in his case it was due to capital gains on the options he was about the get.
As someone who owns 2 companies (not quite a billionaire ) I’ve always wondered this every time I see/hear the fact that these CEOs do not withdraw a salary. We all have bills to pay, right?
My thought is that their company pays for everything. So Elon’s company would pay his mortgage, food bills, car/fuel, everything for him and the board of directors probably agree to it.
His wealth, of course, comes from stocks/shares/other investments he has been given by his company, which is understandable, so because of the size of his wealth he’ll probably get the best deal on a loan there is, and use this to pay his monthly expenses and he probably gets his company to pay the repayments as a company benefit.
You can purchase property/cars etc through your Limited company which means they wouldn’t have to pay tax. The CEO wouldn’t need to pay rent/mortgage as the property would belong to the company. Recently there’s been a uplift in company owners purchasing their homes through their company.
The Ltd company can also contribute towards household bills should sufficient work be taken up at their residence, meaning the company pays for their bills etc.
I don’t do this myself, but I know others who have done so.
It is not quite what you say. The company car would be subject to taxes and so would the company property used for private or personal accommodation (in most circumstances) … there are exceptions but these are quite clear.
Yes - the household bills are also heavily limited. Indeed if these exceeded a rather tiny amount the HMRC would initiate a tax investigation.
Most people have this view that you sell your stocks when you need money. Ultrarich rarely do this. They continue taking loans on top of loans until they die and will try to not sell their assets for as long as humanely possible.
Wow! This is very fascinating. I now realise why I will NEVER be a billionaire. Based on all the above comments it is so simple yet at the same time very complex; way above my thought process capabilities. It’s crazy! So, now our guy gets a loan from whoever, how does he pay it back? The saga of the never ending loop continues…
They often don’t have £0 income but broadly as long as the stock is stable enough to borrow against they just borrow more. Loan interest is tax deductible in the US so they’re perversely incentivised to do this.
Remember a jet, chauffeur & PA come with the job of CEO.
All the BIK factors are correct, but tax is only due on earnings. Technically if said billionaire do not have any earnings, then there are non to incur tax on.
I am sure a suitably rewarded tax specialist can make this happen.
As long as the tax affairs of the company are in line, then I doubt HMRC or the local revenue will pay special attention to the individual if it is all tucked up on a business level.
Very true…how can you possibly put a % on a tax deduction on someone who does not price themselves or sell there time?..
Further more billionaires seem to net worth themselves with assets that could only be valued at estimate, not valued by % increase yearly…
They will definatly have numerous millions within a bank but it will again most definatley be minus numerous millions…
They need debt… that debt justifys non earnings, it also keeps banks investing because they cling on for that debt …
If you are interested or fancy a great read that will tell you how a billionaire gets through life? I highly reccomend a book written by a billionaire named “felix dennis” it is titled (how to get rich) and it actually does live upto its title if you want to get rich!!
Let me know your feedback if you ever give it a read
Only you can do that gary, you dont have to be rich to live a rich lifestyle… and its learnt me how to live without having 5o work on a salary and pay next to nothing taxes, so its not impossible by any means, you might not even desire to be rich aftet reading but you will definatly learn some good turn aroounds to life buddy
This is the answer for many billionaires I expect. Elon Musk specifically mentioned that he had some loans taken out that use his shares as collateral.
But as we saw this year, they do pay tax. In the case of musk he had to pay tax when he exercised his company options. And will have to do the same in the future with some presumably just as massive tax bills.