A massive trove of tax information obtained by ProPublica, covering thousands of America’s wealthiest individuals, reveals what’s inside the billionaires’ bag of tricks for minimizing their personal tax bills — sometimes to nothing.
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.
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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.
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.”
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.
How do billionaire team owners end up paying lower tax rates not only than their millionaire players, but even the person serving beer in the stadium? Let’s go to the highlights.
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.
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.
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
Lord of the Roths: How Tech Mogul Peter Thiel Turned a Retirement Account for the Middle Class Into a $5 Billion Tax-Free Piggy Bank
Roth IRAs were intended to help average working Americans save, but IRS records show Thiel and other ultrawealthy investors have used them to amass vast untaxed fortunes.
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 series has already sparked a conversation about the fairness of the U.S. tax code and raised privacy concerns.
10 important takeaways from ProPublica’s first report on a vast collection of tax records for America’s wealthiest.
We are disclosing the tax details of the richest Americans because we believe the public interest in an informed debate outweighs privacy considerations.
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.
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.