Leaked tax data shows that the 25 wealthiest Americans pay very little, and sometimes no, income tax. That wrote the American research website ProPublica Tuesday.
The IRS now wants to investigate how that explosive data from super-rich like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett could leak to the public.
“I can confirm that an investigation is underway,” IRS chief Charles Rettig said during a Senate hearing in Washington on Tuesday (local time). Unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information is illegal, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department said.
ProPublica published results of an investigation, which the research website says is based on anonymously leaked data on the wealthiest Americans’ income statements and tax contributions.
That information would show how little contributions many extremely wealthy people in the US have to pay to the treasury compared to their mammoth fortunes and how much they can take advantage of legal loopholes in the tax system.
Among other things, ProPublica compared the federal income taxes of the 25 wealthiest Americans for the years 2014 to 2018 with their increases in wealth according to the billionaire’s list of the American weekly Forbes and concluded that the average tax rate on the increased wealth was only 3.4 percent.