In the midst of the international controversy over tax increases for multinational corporations, an investigation by independent organization ProPublica came to confirm Tuesday that several American billionaires have been able to completely evade income tax for several years.
According to the New York-based organization, which says on its website that it wants to “denounce abuse of power and betrayal of public trust,” Amazon President Jeff Bezos did not pay any federal taxes in 2007 and 2011, and Elon Musk, President Tesla Inc., survived it in 2018.
Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk on the podium of the three richest men in the world.
Leader Michael Bloomberg, businessman Carl Icahn, and philanthropist George Soros have also been able to pay any federal taxes in some years, the account continues.
To reach these conclusions, the organization claims to have gotten their hands on thousands of tax returns from wealthy Americans to the IRS, over a span of more than fifteen years.
Put an end to it, the authors wrote, they are destroying the foundations of the American tax myth: that everyone pays their fair share and that the richest pays more.
ProPublica, for example, claims that Jeff Bezos applied and succeeded in obtaining a $4,000 tax credit for his children in 2011, the year he reported investment losses on his tax return greater than his annual income.
However, in April Jeff Bezos showed his support for a tax increase that US President Joe Biden wants to fund his infrastructure investment plan.
“The richest people in the country, who have made huge profits during the pandemic, haven’t paid their fair share,” Ron Wyden, the Democratic chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said on Tuesday, adding that he would. “Suggestion” in this sense.
Asked by AFP, the teams of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, Karl Icahn and George Soros did not immediately respond.
In response to ProPublica, a spokesperson for Mr. Soros cited losses on investments between 2016 and 2018 to justify the lack of federal taxation. mm. Bloomberg and Icahn also said they paid the taxes they should have.
ProPublica also developed in its survey the “real tax rate”, that is, the tax rate each billionaire pays in comparison to the increase in his wealth, as the official tax rate is not measured in this way.
The result is a cynical level, at, say, 0.10% for Warren Buffett between 2014 and 2018, on the back of his wealth exploding thanks to rising stock prices.