ProPublica, a New York-based investigative journalism organization; He claimed that the richest people in the world, such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Michael Bloomberg, pay almost no taxes.
According to the news, Amazon founder Bezos paid no income tax in 2007 and 2011, and Tesla founder Elon Musk in 2018.
Basing the claim on tax returns sent to the U.S. Tax Office (Internal Revenue Service) for more than 15 years, ProPublica did not explain how it got to this confidential information.
Some of the richest Americans “pay very little, sometimes not at all, income taxes compared to their enormous wealth,” the report said.
Billionaires who have not paid any income taxes in some years include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist George Soros and investor Carl Icahn.
ProPublica reported that billionaires do not use illegal methods to file their tax returns, but resort to tax evasion strategies that “ordinary people have no access to”.
The report also stated that billionaires benefit from taxable income criteria under US law. US law does not take into account the increase in wealth in taxation and regulates taxation on sales.
“Taken together, this shatters the myth underlying the American taxation system that everyone pays their fair share and that the richest Americans pay the most,” the report said.
The U.S. Treasury Department has launched an investigation into the leaking of tax returns. “Unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information is illegal,” Treasury Department spokeswoman Lily Adams told AFP. It was stated that the matter was forwarded to the Treasury Department chief inspector, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and federal prosecutors in Washington, “each with an independent investigative authority from the other.”
Bezos announced in 2011 that his investments exceeded his income and therefore he could show a loss in his tax return. It was even learned that he received a tax credit of $ 4,000 for his children.
A spokesperson for Soros told ProPublica that Soros did not pay taxes in 2016 and 2018 because his investments lost money, but he supports the view that higher taxes should be levied on the rich. Bloomberg and Icahn also confined themselves to announcing that they had paid all their taxes.
ProPublica, the first online news source to win the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, has been awarded a total of 5 times with its news.