While most once knew of MacKenzie Scott as “Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife,” she is quickly making a name for herself as a philanthropist. She has donated incredible sums of money to charity – including $700 million to Planned Parenthood and Habitat for Humanity. In 2020 alone, she donated more than $5.8 billion. In 2021, she donated a further $2.7 billion. This is part of her pledge to donate at least half of her entire wealth to charity. After divorcing her most recent husband, she marked the occasion with another 8-figure donation. But you have to ask yourself – do these actions benefit her in any way?
MacKenzie Scott’s Latest Divorce Explained
After leaving Jeff Bezos, Scott went on to marry a former science teacher named Dan Jewett. Many commented on how this was such a notable change from her first husband, with popular podcaster Joe Rogan claiming (jokingly) that he had a net worth of $3,000. He also stated:
“He knows how much money she has. I’m like, how long can you be cool? Well it turns out, 24 months. He couldn’t keep it together. There’s no way you can be yourself if your wife is worth $39 billion. It’s just too hard to be yourself.”
So did Jewett receive any money from the divorce? We don’t actually know because the entire divorce was kept completely private. Both agreed to pursue a separation agreement, which meant that everything happened behind closed doors. There’s no way of knowing whether Jewett received any money, but one can assume that he took away at least something from his short marriage to a billionaire.
MacKenzie Scott’s Donations
Less than one month after her split from Dan, MacKenzie went on to donate $85.5 million to the Girl Scouts of the USA. This represents the largest donation from a single individual in the organization’s history. One has to wonder whether these donations are beneficial in at least some way to the billionaire philanthropist. As many are already aware, a charitable gift gives you a tax benefit. The general rule is that if you donate money, you can deduct that from your taxable income at the end of the fiscal year. You can deduct up to 60% of your income each year.
This means that MacKenzie Scott is paying a far lower tax rate because of her donations. However, she can only donate around half of her income, which probably is not quite as high as her donations. In other words, she is giving more money away than she is earning. In fact, it is not really clear whether she is earning any income since her wealth comes from her 4% stake in Amazon. This company does not share dividends, and she does not take a salary from the company.
Basically, there is no way that these donations are some kind of scheme to “play the system.” Scott is donating because she really wants to – and the benefits she receives are not really worth mentioning. Even if she earned billions of dollars each year, she would only have the ability to write off half of her income.