Elon Musk, the world’s second richest man, pays $0 in income tax. Exactly in 2018, according to a new report from ProPublica… and Musk wasn’t the only one.
ProPublica receives highly confidential tax information from everyone from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to investor Warren Buffett. By the way, investigative news outlets have not revealed, and ProPublica promises to spend the next month exploring tax evasion plans closer to America’s richest people.
ProPublica has given us a glimpse of today’s foreign tax filings.. Take, for example, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reported $46 million in revenue in 2007, but did not pay federal taxes that year.. How? According to ProPublica, Bezos “compensates every penny he earns with side investment losses and deductions such as interest expense on debt and equity. vague “other expenses”
Did you get paid in 2007? If you do You certainly pay more federal income taxes than the richest people in the world. And it got even worse.
His tax evasion is even more striking if you examine 2006 to 2018, which is when ProPublica was fully informed. Bezos’ wealth has increased by $127 billion, according to Forbes, but he reported gross income of $6.5 billion. The $1.4 billion he paid in federal taxes was a huge amount. But there is still a real tax rate of 1.1% on the increase in his wealth.
Or Elon Musk? The picture was shocking as well.
Except for one year he exercised more than a billion dollars of stock options. Musk’s tax bill doesn’t reflect his fortune at all. In 2015, he paid $68,000 in federal income taxes, $65,000 in 2017, and in 2018 he paid no federal income taxes during 2014. As of 2018, he has an effective tax rate of 3.27%.
Musk also benefits from big government contract For his company SpaceX, what makes his tax avoidance feel like it’s doubling down on public funds..
You can read the full ProPublica report here. websitewhere you can learn why some top executives earn infamously low salaries. For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg only earns $1 a year. Why? Wages are taxed at a high rate. while sales of stocks and bonds are taxed much lower.
There is an important debate about raising the marginal tax rate for the wealthiest Americans. But serious national conversation is needed about how to make sure that people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett really pay their fair share.
Is the solution in the wealth tax as Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed? that might help But anything that gets through is going to be a major overhaul that doesn’t allow the wealthiest of all to flee without paying federal taxes at all. It is clearly a crime that billionaires exist even in a civilized society. Because there are not enough hours in a day to prove the suitability of accumulating a wealth of wealth.
If a billionaire can survive They can at least pay the same tax rate as the average American who can’t get away from questionable tax evasion schemes. It’s the least we can do.