Earlier this week ProPublica published a unique analysis disclosing Internal Revenue Service data showing how little the .001% pay in taxes.
The richest 25 billionaires in the United States paid a true federal tax rate of just 3.4% between 2014 and 2018—even as they added a staggering $401 billion to their collective wealth, reports Common Dreams.
Experts have long understood the broad outlines of how little the wealthy are taxed in the United States, and many lay people have long suspected the same thing. But few specifics about individuals ever emerge in public, writes the authors Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen and Paul Kiel.
“Looks like the biggest tax story of the year, if not the decade,” tweeted Economist Gabriel Zucman, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
“In the coming months, we plan to use this material to explore how the nation’s wealthiest people—roughly the .001%—exploit the structure of our tax code to avoid the tax burdens borne by ordinary citizens. Many will ask about the ethics of publishing such private data. We are doing so—quite selectively and carefully—because we believe it serves the public interest in fundamental ways, allowing readers to see patterns that were until now hidden,” says Richard Tofel, ProPublica’s founding general manager and outgoing president.
Forbes recently released just how much U.S. billionaires have gained using IRS data.
According to Common Dreams, the Forbes results show that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos—the world’s richest man—and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett paid a true tax rate of 0.98% and 0.10%, respectively, between 2014 and 2018.