03/28/2013 02:12 pm ET

Mark Zuckerberg Could Pay More Than $1 Billion In Taxes: CNN Analysis

Forget about his fortune, Mark Zuckerberg’s tax bill alone is worth more money than most of us can even fathom.

The Facebook CEO’s 2012 tax bill will come out to a whopping $1.1 billion, according to an analysis by CNNMoney. That’s about 0.047 percent of the $2.3 trillion Americans paid in income taxes overall in 2011, according to NPR.

Last year was a good one for Zuck, which is why his tax bill is so high. He earned $2.3 billion from his stock options alone. Assuming that income is taxed at 48.3 percent -- a combination of the top federal tax rate and the top California state tax rate -- Zuckerberg will pay at least $1 billion in taxes, CNNMoney found, before factoring in deductions and any other income.

(Click over to CNNMoney to read more about Zuckerberg’s tax bill)

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

CNNMoney’s analysis is just an estimate though, and if Zuckerberg follows the lead of his billionaire colleagues he could end up paying much less. It’s not uncommon for billionaires to take advantage of tax loopholes allowing them to pay taxes at a rate of less than one percent, according to a 2011 Bloomberg report.

In addition, because Zuckerberg's exercised stock options are only worth a fraction of his ownership stake in the company, he’s only paying taxes on a fraction of the money he made off of Facebook’s IPO, tax lawyer David S. Miller wrote in a New York Times op-ed last year.

Even if Zuckerberg ends up paying the $1 billion tax figure, his company may pay way less. Facebook paid no corporate net income taxes in 2012, according to a January report from the Center for Tax Justice, a left-leaning research group.



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