But just because Gates can write a 12-digit check for taxes doesn't mean he should, the tech founder said.
Speaking at the New York Times DealBook Conference on Wednesday, Gates said he likely holds the title as paying the highest amount of taxes.
His comments come at a time when Sen. Elizabeth Warren is making higher taxes on the rich a key part of her 2020 Democratic presidential bid.
Gates went on to say he isn't sure if Warren is "open-minded" or would be willing to sit down with someone who has "large amounts of money."
The "incentive system" could be impacted by new taxes, and there are other ways to raise capital "without threatening" the existing system, he said.
Gates was quickly proven wrong: Warren called out to Gates in a tweet and said she would "love to explain" exactly how much he would pay under a potential Warren presidency.
Why It's Important
CNBC's wealth reporter Robert Frank said on "Squawk on The Street" that, under Warren's proposals, Gates would fork over $6.5 billion in wealth tax on top of $7 billion in unrealized capital gains. In addition, Warren's proposed tax on foundation wealth would add another $2 billion to $3 billion.
Changes to the tax code require the approval of the U.S. Congress so "more rational minds" could prevail, Frank said.
Many members of the House and Senate "wouldn't allow" Warren's policies to pass, but this isn't stopping the field of Democratic candidates looking at ways to tax the wealthy more, he said.
Photo by Kuhlmann /MSC via Wikimedia.