Jeff Bezos could save $600m in taxes after moving to Florida

Jeff Bezos could save $600m in taxes after moving to Florida

Jeff Bezos and his fiancée, Lauren Sanchez, stand to save a staggering $600 million in taxes simply by relocating to Florida.

This significant tax advantage arises from a $2 billion sale of Amazon stock.

Bezos, 59, who is engaged in a three-way battle with Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Tesla’s Elon Musk for the title of wealthiest American, announced his departure from Seattle in November after residing there for 30 years. He cited proximity to his parents and Blue Origin rocket launches at Cape Canaveral as reasons for the move, as mentioned in an Instagram post.

However, a recent report by CNBC sheds light on another factor influencing his decision to relocate: two years ago, Washington implemented a new 7% capital gains tax on sales of stocks or bonds exceeding $250,000. In contrast, Florida does not impose taxes on income or capital gains.

Bezos has been selling billions of dollars worth of Amazon stock since 1998 to finance philanthropic endeavors, Blue Origin, and notable purchases such as new residences on Miami’s Indian Creek island and a $500 million mega-yacht, the Koru.

Following the introduction of the new tax in Washington, Bezos halted the sale of Amazon stock until recently informing the US Securities and Exchange Commission of his intention to sell 50 million shares by January 31, 2025, amounting to approximately $8.7 billion at current values.

With the recent sale of the first $2 billion tranche, Bezos managed to save $140 million in taxes he would have owed to Washington state. Over the next two years, on the entirety of the sale, he stands to save around $610 million or more, should the value of Amazon stock continue to rise. These savings will comfortably cover the cost of the Koru.

The move to Miami has incurred substantial expenses for the couple, who have already spent $147 million on two mansions on Indian Creek island, near prominent figures like quarterback Tom Brady, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and investor Carl Icahn.

Real estate experts in Miami anticipate that Bezos will likely demolish the existing homes and construct a new one. Additionally, he is reportedly exploring other properties on the island, known for its exclusivity and privacy, catering primarily to billionaires.

However, the expenses associated with relocating a multibillionaire, his fiancée, and their support staff across a continent may not be fully accounted for by personal real estate projects. Shortly after Bezos announced the move to Miami, Amazon revealed plans to acquire 50,000 square feet of office space in nearby Brickell.