The 25 richest Americans, including Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Elon Musk, pay a miniscule tax rate --and sometimes almost nothing -- according to a study conducted by news outlet ProPublica.
The research is based on IRS data for the period 2014-2018; it says the tax outgo of the super-rich was almost negligible, despite their collective net worth rising by more than $400bn in the same period.
The report highlights the techniques that the wealthy often use to reduce their tax bills, including taking advantage of a complex web of loopholes and deductions that are perfectly legal and can significantly reduce — or erase — tax liability, reports the New York Times. That includes borrowing huge sums of money backed by enormous stock holdings. Those loans are not taxed and the interest that the executives pay on the money can often be deducted from their tax bills.
In 2007, Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, paid nothing in federal income taxes even as his company’s stock price doubled. Four years later, as his wealth swelled to $18 billion, he reported losses and received a tax credit of $4,000 for his children, according to ProPublica.
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