14-Year-Old Warren Buffett's Tax Returns Are a Lesson in Hustle

A billionaire with nothing to hide? How novel!

By Evan Bleier

 
14-Year-Old Warren Buffett's Tax Returns Are a Lesson in Hustle
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28 June 2017

Like Walt Disney, Ross Perot and Benjamin Franklin, Warren Buffett started out as a paperboy.

Unlike Walt, Ross and Ben, the 14-year-old version of the 75 Billion Dollar Man was slinging for two newspapers — The Washington Post and the now-defunct Washington Times-Herald.

We know this because the Berkshire Hathaway CEO provided his first ever federal income-tax return from 1944 to the PBS NewsHour before sitting down for an interview with Judy Woodruff.

The income shown on the return — which is a far cry from the $11.6 million Buffett made in 2015 — is just $592.50, an amount that required a payment to the IRS of only $7. Thorough even then, Buffett’s return shows he paid $45 in total expenses for a watch repair and bicycle costs.

In addition to putting money in his pocket, the route taught Buffett a very early business lesson.

“You learn a lot about human nature when you deliver papers,” Buffett previously told BizNews. “For one thing you learn you have to pay for them each month. Whether the customers pay you or not. You have to collect money.”

To see what the tax returns of a billionaire who’ll actually release them look like, they’re below.

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