U.S. taxes are likely to rise as lawmakers look to narrow the federal deficit, Warren Buffett said, as Washington prepares for major tax negotiations next year.

The Berkshire Hathaway chairman and chief executive officer, speaking Saturday at the company’s closely watched annual meeting in Omaha, sidestepped directly commenting on the partisan fight over corporate taxes taking shape. But he said his company will pay whatever the rate is, whether the current 21% or something higher.

“With present fiscal policies, I think that something has to give,” Buffett said. “Higher taxes are quite likely, and if the government wants to take a greater share of your income or mine or Berkshire’s, they can do it. And they may decide that someday they don’t want the fiscal deficit to be this large.”

Tax changes enacted under then-President Donald Trump in 2017 lowered the corporate rate to 21% from 35%, along with a series of other changes. Those included several tax cuts affecting individual filers that are poised to expire, teeing up talks next year on what changes to make—negotiations that could lead to a change in the corporate rate. President Joe Biden has called for raising the corporate rate to 28%.

Buffett is a longtime advocate for higher taxes on the wealthy, having often said it’s not right that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does. He echoed that in his comments Saturday. Berkshire paid over $5 billion in federal taxes last year, he said. 

“And if 800 other companies had done the same thing, no other person in the United states would have had to pay a dime,” Buffett said. “It doesn’t bother me in the least to write that check, and I would really hope with all that America has done for all of you, it shouldn’t bother you that we do it.”

He added that a higher tax rate might soothe any shareholder worried about stock sales Berkshire is making now. “And if I’m doing it at 21% this year and we’re doing it at a lot higher percentage later on, I don’t think you’ll actually mind the fact that we sold a little Apple this year,” he said, referring to Berkshire’s largest equity holding.

“We always hope at Berkshire to pay substantial federal income taxes,” Buffett said. “We think it’s appropriate.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.