Jeff Ernsthausen

Senior Data Reporter

Photo of Jeff Ernsthausen

Jeff Ernsthausen is a data reporter at ProPublica. He previously worked on the investigative team at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, where he investigated sexual abuse by physicians nation-wide, police misconduct in Georgia and evictions in metro Atlanta. Prior to his career in journalism, he studied history and economics and worked as a financial and economic analyst at the Federal Reserve.

More Than Half of America’s 100 Richest People Exploit Special Trusts to Avoid Estate Taxes

Secret IRS records show billionaires use trusts that let them pass fortunes to their heirs without paying estate tax. Will Congress end a tax shelter that has cost the Treasury untold billions?

Democratic Senators Call for Investigation of Tax Avoidance by the Ultrawealthy

Calling ProPublica’s Secret IRS Files series a “bombshell,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse demanded an investigation into how the rich use “legal tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of income taxes.”

Leading Manhattan DA Candidate Has Repeatedly Paid Virtually No Federal Income Taxes

Tali Farhadian Weinstein, who donated $8 million to her own campaign, and her hedge fund manager husband paid nothing (or almost nothing) to the IRS four times in six years.

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

ProPublica has obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing how billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth — sometimes, even nothing.

How We Calculated the True Tax Rates of the Wealthiest

ProPublica started with a trove of private tax data — then analyzed those records, along with sources ranging from Forbes’ list of billionaires to publicly available information from the IRS, the Federal Reserve and more.

You May Be Paying a Higher Tax Rate Than a Billionaire

A new ProPublica analysis of a trove of IRS documents revealed that the richest 25 Americans pay a tiny fraction of their wealth in taxes. But even if you use the most conventional yardstick — income — the wealthiest still pay low rates.

The Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Take Bailout Funds and Lay Off Workers, Says House Report

Instead of using bailout money to keep workers, at least two companies restored the full pay of their top management.

Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. Now They’re Coming for More.

After a pause for the pandemic, debt buyers are back in the courts, suing debtors by the thousands.

How the Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Keep Relief Money That Was Supposed to Go to Workers

One of the most generous programs of the bailout was meant to help airline industry companies keep their workers on the payroll. Some laid workers off first and then got the money anyway.

The Eviction Ban Worked, but It’s Almost Over. Some Landlords Are Getting Ready.

The CARES Act was largely successful in keeping millions of American renters from facing eviction during the pandemic. As protections fade, some landlords are gearing up to return to court.

The Airline Bailout Loophole: Companies Laid Off Workers, Then Got Money Meant to Prevent Layoffs

Three companies including Gate Gourmet, a global provider of airline meals, received $338 million in relief money for workers — and laid workers off anyway.

Capital One and Other Debt Collectors Are Still Coming for Millions of Americans

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Americans got protection from evictions, foreclosures and student debt. But debt collectors have continued to siphon off their share of paychecks from those who still have jobs.

Can You Be Evicted During Coronavirus? Here’s How to Find Out.

The CARES Act temporarily protects millions of renters from being evicted, and many states and cities passed their own rules to help those struggling to pay rent. Use our new database to find out if eviction bans might apply to you.

Can I Be Evicted During Coronavirus?

Even if you live in a state that has not banned evictions, federal rules may still protect you. Look up your address to learn more.

Despite Federal Ban, Landlords Are Still Moving to Evict People During the Pandemic

ProPublica found landlords in at least four states have violated the ban, which was put in place by the CARES Act but has no clear enforcement mechanism.

For Americans With Bills to Pay, Help Is on the Way. Sort Of.

Politicians have touted debt relief, but the various proposals are patchwork. Many homeowners and renters won’t get much help; those struggling with credit card, car and other loan payments will get none.

Having Trouble With Your Rent, Mortgage or Debts? We Want to Hear From You.

Will banks, landlords and other debt collectors work with people who’ve lost income because of the coronavirus crisis? Help us find out.

The FBI Is Investigating Massive Embezzlement of Border Patrol Union Funds

The head of the powerful union representing border patrol agents nationwide said the FBI is working to identify who stole some $500,000 out of the coffers of the El Paso local. The theft raises more questions about lawlessness in the union’s ranks.

An Opportunity Zone Group Called Our Story About a Yacht Club Getting Tax Breaks “Lurid.” We Respond.

A think tank that pushes the big Trump tax break accused us of omissions. Its statement has some curious omissions of its own.

A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina

Wealthy donors Wayne Huizenga Jr. and Jeff Vinik lobbied then-Gov. Rick Scott for the lucrative tax break — and won it. Poorer communities lost out.

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