Justin Elliott

Reporter

Photo of Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott has been a reporter with ProPublica since 2012, where he covers business and politics.

In recent years, he was on the team of reporters documenting how the rich avoid taxes for “The Secret IRS Files” series. He co-wrote the story revealing tech mogul Peter Thiel’s multibillion-dollar Roth IRA.

Previously, his work on TurboTax-maker Intuit’s misleading marketing tactics led to a settlement that delivered $141 million back to consumers.

He has produced stories for outlets including The New York Times and NPR, and his work has spurred congressional investigations and changes to federal legislation.

He has won numerous awards, including a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism, the Selden Ring Award, an Investigative Reporters and Editors award for a series on the American Red Cross and, with the “Trump, Inc.” podcast team, a duPont-Columbia Award. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in history and classics.

He can be reached on Signal and WhatsApp at 774-826-6240.

Lawmakers Call for Investigation and Ethics Reforms in Response to ProPublica Report on Clarence Thomas

Influential Democratic legislators are pushing for changes at the Supreme Court and a probe into Thomas’ undisclosed luxury trips provided by powerful conservative donor Harlan Crow.

Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire

Island-hopping on a superyacht. Private jet rides around the world. The undisclosed gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the Supreme Court. “It’s incomprehensible to me that someone would do this,” says one former judge.

That Cardboard Box in Your Home Is Fueling Election Denial

A previously unreported boom in profits for the shipping supply giant Uline has provided the funds for a deeply conservative Midwestern family to bankroll anti-democracy causes around the country.

How a Billionaire’s “Attack Philanthropy” Secretly Funded Climate Denialism and Right-Wing Causes

Emails and interviews reveal privacy-obsessed electronics magnate Barre Seid’s long history of backing efforts to attack climate science, fight Medicaid expansion, and remake the higher education system in a conservative mold.

How a Secretive Billionaire Handed His Fortune to the Architect of the Right-Wing Takeover of the Courts

In the largest known political advocacy donation in U.S. history, industrialist Barre Seid funded a new group run by Federalist Society co-chair Leonard Leo, who guided Trump’s Supreme Court picks and helped end federal abortion rights.

Inflation Reduction Act Will Require the IRS to Study Free Tax Filing Options

TurboTax maker Intuit has long blocked efforts to create free online tax filing for all, but this sweeping domestic policy bill provides $15 million to investigate how the IRS could implement such a program.

How Susquehanna’s Jeff Yass Avoided $1 Billion in Taxes

The billionaire TikTok investor specializes in securities trades that are taxed at around 40%. A ProPublica analysis reveals how Yass and his partners have kept their tax rates at 20% or lower.

Meet the Billionaire and Rising GOP Mega-Donor Who’s Gaming the Tax System

Susquehanna founder and TikTok investor Jeff Yass has avoided $1 billion in taxes while largely escaping public scrutiny. He’s now pouring his money into campaigns to cut taxes and support election deniers.

Intuit Will Pay Millions to Customers Tricked Into Paying for TurboTax

State attorneys general just reached a $141 million settlement with the Silicon Valley juggernaut. Victims will receive up to $90 each.

FTC Sues to Stop “Deceptive” TurboTax “Free” Ad Campaign

Following an investigation sparked by ProPublica’s coverage, the Federal Trade Commission is asking a federal court for a restraining order barring Intuit from marketing TurboTax as “free.”

TurboTax Maker Intuit Faces Tens of Millions in Fees in a Groundbreaking Legal Battle Over Consumer Fraud

In addition to the unusual mass arbitration Intuit is fighting, federal regulators and state prosecutors are still investigating the company, which made $2 billion dollars last year.

D.C. Attorney General Sues Customer Service Firm Arise for Stiffing Workers on Pay

The suit alleges that Arise Virtual Solutions, which targets women of color for recruitment and has been used by large companies like Airbnb and Disney, deprived workers of minimum wage, overtime and paid sick leave.

Senate Finance Chair to Billionaire Developers: Explain How Opportunity Zone Tax Break Is Helping the Poor

Citing ProPublica’s reporting, letters to Jorge Perez of Related, Kushner Companies and others request details on projects in opportunity zones created during the Trump administration.

The Great Inheritors: How Three Families Shielded Their Fortunes From Taxes for Generations

In the early 1900s some of the wealthiest Americans claimed their fortunes would never last through the generations. A century of tax avoidance later, the dynasties are going strong.

Proposal to Rein in Mega IRAs Faces Lobbying Resistance From Retirement Industry

Several companies, including one backed by Peter Thiel, are fighting a proposal to curb giant retirement accounts and tighten rules for IRA investments.

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?

House Bill Would Blow Up the Massive IRAs of the Superwealthy

The proposed reform stems from a ProPublica story that detailed how PayPal founder Peter Thiel had amassed $5 billion, tax-free, in a Roth IRA. If the bill passes, Roth accounts would be capped at $20 million for high-income individuals.

How the Trump Tax Law Created a Loophole That Lets Top Executives Net Millions by Slashing Their Own Salaries

The 2017 tax cuts made it more attractive for certain company owners to be paid in profits instead of wages. Some cut their own wages, expanding a loophole that was already costing the U.S. billions.

Secret IRS Files Reveal How Much the Ultrawealthy Gained by Shaping Trump’s “Big, Beautiful Tax Cut”

Billionaire business owners deployed lobbyists to make sure Trump’s 2017 tax bill was tailored to their benefit. Confidential IRS records show the windfall that followed.

The Number of People With IRAs Worth $5 Million or More Has Tripled, Congress Says

After ProPublica revealed that some wealthy Americans hold Roth IRAs worth hundreds of millions — compared to $39,000 for the average account holder — Democrats requested data. It shows more than 28,000 people with IRAs worth $5 million or more.

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