Elon Musk, the second richest person in the world, paid exactly zero dollars in income tax in 2018. According to the ProPublica article, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX was not the only billionaire to “get rid” of taxes in the United States .
The investigative news agency had access to classified fiscal data from the wealthiest Americans. The list has important information from people like Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and mega-investor Warren Buffett.
The article shows bizarre examples of tax returns. Bezos reported income of $46 million in 2007 but did not pay the tax because “it made up every penny it earned with losses on investments and other deductions.”
Tax evasion is visibly clear between 2006 and 2018, according to the publication. Amazon’s CEO increased wealth by $127 billion, but reported total revenue of $6.5 billion and paid $1.4 billion in taxes – a 1.1 percent tax on his fortune.
Elon Musk’s tax data also doesn’t reflect his wealth, as he paid $68,000 in taxes in 2015, $65,000 in 2017 and zeroed in taxes in 2018. Between 2014 and 2018, he had a tax rate of 3.27%.
In addition, the owner of SpaceX is the beneficiary of huge contracts with the US government. In this way, tax evasion looks like a “double immersion” in public coffers.
Currently, there is a great deal of discussion around the taxation of the fortunes of American billionaires. For example, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren proposes a wealth tax as a solution.
This would ensure that Musk, Bezos and others pay a fair share according to the wealth obtained. This rate would be equivalent to the earnings of an average American and would have strong enforcement against tax evasion schemes.