Some American billionaires, including the richest people on the planet, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, have managed to avoid paying federal income tax in some years over the past 15 years, according to the ProPublica portal, which deals with investigative journalism. At the disposal of the publication were extensive data from the US Internal Revenue Service, concerning the taxes of the wealthiest people in the country.
So, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the richest man in the world, did not pay federal income tax in 2007 and 2011. The founder of Tesla, Elon Musk-the second in the ranking of billionaires-avoided payment in 2018. The same is true of businessman Michael Bloomberg, investor Carl Icahn, and financier George Soros, who managed to avoid paying federal income tax for three consecutive years.
The information obtained refutes the myth about the fairness of the American tax system, ProPublica believes. Data from the Tax Service shows that the richest people can, and absolutely legally, pay insignificant amounts for their state. They use tax avoidance strategies that are not available to ordinary people. The wealth of billionaires comes from the value of assets-stocks and property. According to American law, taxes are provided only in the case of the sale of these assets.
In recent years, the average American family earned about $70,000 a year and paid a 14 percent federal tax. For income of more than $628,000, a tax rate of 37 percent is in effect from this year, but ProPublica data shows that the super-rich is successfully bypassing the system.
If you compare the amount in which Forbes estimates the growth of the wealth of the 25 richest Americans for the period from 2014 to 2018, and the amount of taxes they paid, you can find that the tax rate for them was only 3.4 percent. Having become richer by 401 billion, they paid a total of 13.6 billion in taxes.
In March, US lawmakers came up with an initiative to introduce a tax for the super-rich: the authors of the idea expected that it would make the economy fairer and allow them to collect an additional $3 trillion in taxes over 10 years. If the law were passed, the 100 richest Americans would have to pay $78 billion in 2021.
In December 2020, it became known that Elon Musk decided to move from California to Texas to save on paying taxes.