Justin Elliott

Reporter

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Justin Elliott has been a reporter with ProPublica since 2012, where he has covered business and economics as well as money and influence in politics. He has produced stories for outlets including the New York Times and National Public Radio, and his work has spurred congressional investigations and changes to federal legislation.

His work on TurboTax maker Intuit won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism. He was also honored with 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.

Justin’s GnuPG/PGP key is available on the Ubuntu keyserver. The key ID is 2C353E48 and the fingerprint is 2305 FAB2 8F0D DEA1 FB4D 176A BDE5 0826 2C35 3E48.

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

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.

“We’re Not Allowed to Hang Up”: The Harsh Reality of Working in Customer Service

In their own voices, seven customer service representatives reveal what it’s like being caught between abusive callers and demanding employers.

TurboTax-Maker Intuit Will Leave Free Tax Filing Partnership With IRS

The company’s decision throws the future of the Free File program, which was created as an alternative to an IRS free tax filing system, into doubt.

The Billionaire Playbook: How Sports Owners Use Their Teams to Avoid Millions in Taxes

Owners like Steve Ballmer can take the kinds of deductions on team assets — everything from media deals to player contracts — that industrialists take on factory equipment. That helps them pay lower tax rates than players and even stadium workers.

Campaign to Rein in Mega IRA Tax Shelters Gains Steam in Congress Following ProPublica Report

One proposal would ban the kinds of transactions that helped Peter Thiel amass $5 billion in his Roth; another would cap how much could be saved tax-free in these retirement accounts. But two unrelated bills could undermine those efforts.

Why You Can’t Turn Your Roth IRA Into a Billion-Dollar Tax Shelter

Unless you have access to nonpublic stock of a future tech giant, it’s pretty hard to turn a humble retirement account into a tax-free piggy bank.

The Ultrawealthy Have Hijacked Roth IRAs. The Senate Finance Chair Is Eyeing a Crackdown.

Sen. Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said he planned to rein in tax breaks for gargantuan Roth retirement accounts after ProPublica exposed how the superrich used them to shield their fortunes from taxes

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