Making money can be so easy – if you own millions of shares. Billionaire Steve Balmer uses his shares in Microsoft to do this.

Former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer could soon receive a windfall: As the largest individual shareholder in Microsoft, he can expect high dividends. This year he has already earned 930 million US dollars (838 million euros), next year he is expected to receive 999.6 million US dollars (899 million euros) – and thus receive almost a billion US dollars in dividends. The US television channel CNN reports on this.

Ballmer is the ninth richest person in the world with a fortune of 110.9 billion. He is said to have owned 333.2 million Microsoft shares in 2014, writes CNN. This means he owns around four percent of the company. Ballmer was one of Microsoft’s first employees and was the software company’s CEO from 2000 to 2014. He is also the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball club.

Almost $200 million in taxes due on dividends

The possible billion-dollar dividend is based on the assumption that Microsoft’s payout will continue to rise as it has for years. This year the company paid a dividend of $2.79 per share, and next year the dividend is expected to increase to $3.

But Ballmer is not allowed to keep the windfall completely to himself. The US tax authorities charge 20 percent tax on stock profits. This means that Balmer would have to pay almost $200 million in taxes on his Microsoft dividends next year.

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