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A new scandal put several of the world’s richest men in the eye of the hurricane, as it was revealed that many of them do not pay or pay very little in taxes to the IRS. President Biden’s administration said Tuesday that it is already investigating how the tax information of several of these billionaires, including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett, was leaked to the public.
“The unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information is illegal. The matter will be referred to the Office of the Inspector General, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, all of which have independent authority to investigate. ” said Treasury spokeswoman Lily Adams.
The investigation comes after a publication in a news outlet that showed information from IRS records never seen before.
Earlier Tuesday, the information portal ProPublica reported that it obtained documents from the IRS showing how billionaires such as Bezos, Musk, Buffett, Bill Gates, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Bloomberg have legally avoided paying taxes about the rent.
For example, ProPublica reported that Tesla founder Elon Musk’s wealth grew by $ 14 billion from 2014 to 2018, but he only paid $ 455 million in taxes. On the other hand, Amazon founder and the world’s richest man today, Jeff Bezos, paid no income tax for at least two years between 2006 and 2018, according to the report.
Warren Buffett, who is also one of the richest in the world, paid minimal tax by owning shares in his company Berkshire Hathaway and not paying dividends. The investor defended himself in a statement saying that his shareholders did not want dividends and that he gave almost all his money to good causes.
“Any unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information by one person is illegal and we take it very seriously,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing Tuesday.
“I will not comment on specific unauthorized disclosures of confidential government information. I can tell you that, broadly speaking, we know there is more to do to ensure that corporations, the people with the highest incomes, pay more. So it’s in the president’s proposals, his budget, and part of how he’s proposing to pay for his ideas, ”Psaki said, according to CNN.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.