On Tuesday, the ProPublica website published an article based on numerous IRS data breaches.
Documents show some of America’s richest people, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk, paid little – and sometimes none – federal income tax for years as their fortunes exploded . The same goes for billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Karl Icahn and George Soros.
Low wages are the key
ProPublica obtained tax information on several thousand wealthy Americans and looked at what they paid in taxes from 2014 to 2018 versus increasing their wealth.
According to financial magazine Forbes, Warren Buffett’s wealth grew by more than $ 24 billion during that time, but he only paid 0.1% of those federal taxes. Jeff Bezos’ fortune increased by $ 99 billion. He paid the equivalent of just under one percent of the increased wealth in federal taxes. Michelle Bloomberg ended up getting a 1.3% tax – and Elon Musk more than 3%, according to ProPublica.
The key to lowering taxes is lower wages, while the appreciation of other assets such as stocks and options is taxed much less in the United States.
But also if you look at the amount Income The 25 richest Americans paid taxes in that five-year period, and the percentage is small: Of the $ 86 billion in adjusted gross income, they paid authorities $ 13.6 billion in taxes. , or 15.8%.
According to ProPublica, this is less than what the average worker would pay with a salary of $ 45,000, if the individual also includes health and social security contributions. ProPublica reports that the rate for the highest income tax category in the United States is 37%.
“Basically, these numbers shatter the basic myth that everyone pays their fair share of taxes – and that the richest pay more,” ProPublica wrote, adding that an analysis showing taxes paid versus growth of the wealth of the richest in the United States had never happened before. , and that the average American family pays you more than 14% of your federal tax revenues.
ProPublica struggled to get comments on the article by America’s richest man. Elon Musk responded with a single question mark. Michael Bloomberg, a businessman who ran for the Democratic primary for last year’s presidential election, is one of the few to respond through a representative, writing that Bloomberg is paying all the taxes he should pay.
The representative added that “in the United States, no individual should fear the illegal disclosure of their tax information. We intend to use all legal means at our disposal to identify any person or government entity who disclosed it and to ensure that it is held accountable. “
ProPublica is a non-profit news organization founded in 2007 in New York City. The editorial team works in investigative journalism and in 2010 became the first online publisher to win the Pulitzer Prize for Outstanding Journalism. Since then, ProPublica has won four more Pulitzer Prizes.
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