ProPublica investigators in their articleIt hit the “big well” of data from the US Treasury (IRS), which has revealed the tax returns of thousands of the wealthiest people in the US in at least 15 years.
“In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a billionaire and now the richest man in the world, didn’t pay a penny in federal income tax. He pulled off the same business in 2011,” writes Server, who has already won five Pulitzer Prizes for his work.
In 2007, Bezos did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. Back in 2011. In 2018, Elon Musk also did not pay federal income taxes.
Bloomberg was able to do the same recently. Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros has not paid federal income tax for 3 consecutive years. https://t.co/a0imOZl74a
— karim doumar (@karimdoumar) June 8, 2021
Another example is Tesla founder and visionary Elon Musek, who paid nothing in federal taxes in 2018. Some currently consider Musk the second richest man in the world.
Taken together, this information shatters the basic myth of the US tax system: that everyone contributes fairly and that the richest Americans pay more.
Only a small part of the income is paid
Among the wealthy who managed to avoid tax obligations, ProPublic include, for example, former New York mayor and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, financier George Soros or, for example, investor Warren Buffett.
The latter some time ago called for an increase in taxes on the richest population (the so-called one percent).
The text continues: “IRS records show that the rich can – and quite legally – pay income tax that is only a small fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, that their assets will grow each year.”
ProPublica explains that American billionaires use a very specific tax avoidance strategy. Their wealth comes from the increased value of their assets, such as stocks or property. US law does not define these profits as taxable income unless (and even) sold by billionaires.