Details have been leaked to the news website claiming to reveal how low income taxes US millionaires pay.
ProPublica says it has seen tax returns for the wealthiest people in the world, including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett.
The website claims that Amazon’s Bezos did not pay taxes in 2007 and 2011, while Tesla’s Musk did not pay taxes in 2018.
A White House spokeswoman called the leak “illegal,” and the FBI and tax authorities are investigating it.
ProPublica said it is analyzing It’s called the “Huge Data of the Internal Revenue Service” about billionaire taxes, and we’ll be releasing more details in the coming weeks.
The BBC hasn’t confirmed that claim, but the allegations of the leak arose during growing debate about the amount of taxes paid by wealthy people and growing inequality.
According to ProPublica, the 25 wealthiest Americans pay less taxes than most mainstream American workers, representing an average of 15.8% of adjusted total income.
Jesse Eisinger, Senior Reporter and Editor of ProPublica, told Today Program: [tax] Zero if you are a millionaire. Actually paying zero taxes really crushed us to the floor. The ultra-rich can circumvent the system in a completely legal way. “
The website states, “Using a fully legitimate tax strategy, many ultra-rich people can reduce federal taxes to zero or near, despite a surge in wealth over the past few years. I can do it. “
Wealthy people, like many ordinary citizens, can reduce their income tax by, for example, withdrawing money from investment income rather than charitable donations or wage income.
Using data collected by Forbes magazine, ProPublica states that between 2014 and 2018, the wealth of the 25 wealthiest people in the United States increased by a total of $ 401 billion.
President Joe Biden has vowed to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans as part of his mission to improve equality and raise funds for his large-scale infrastructure investment program.
He wants to raise the maximum tax rate, double the tax on what high-income earners get from their investments, and change the inheritance tax.
However, ProPublica’s analysis said, “Some wealthy Americans, such as hedge fund managers, will pay more taxes under the current Biden administration’s proposal, but the majority of the top 25 are mostly. You won’t feel any change. “
One of the millionaires mentioned, philanthropist George Soros, also allegedly paid a minimum of taxes. His office did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment, but in a statement to ProPublica, Solos said he was not obliged to pay taxes for several years due to a loss of investment.
The statement also noted that he had long supported higher taxes on America’s wealthiest people.
According to US reports, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg included tax details in the paperwork.
The research website, ProPublica, has written several articles on how the US Internal Revenue Service’s budget cuts are hampering the ability of large wealthy companies to enforce tax law. The press said it had received the leaked document in response to these articles.
White House spokesman Jen Psaki said “unauthorized disclosure of sensitive government information” was illegal.
In a statement emailed to Reuters, Treasury spokesman Lily Adams left the matter to the FBI, federal prosecutors, and two Treasury oversight agencies, saying, “Everyone is independent. I have the authority to investigate. “
“I can’t say anything about a particular taxpayer,” said Charles Rettig, Secretary of the Internal Revenue Service. You can see that. Revenue Service. “