A TikTok Investor Has Avoided $1 Billion in Taxes. Now He’s a GOP Megadonor.

This story was originally published by ProPublica. One day in July 1985, three young men from Philadelphia, their lawyer and a burly Pinkerton guard arrived at a horse track outside Chicago carrying a briefcase with $250,000 in cash. Running the numbers on a Compaq computer the size of a small refrigerator, Jeffrey Yass and his friends had found a way to outwit the track’s bookies, according to interviews, records and news accounts. A few months earlier, they’d wagered $160,000, gambling that, with tens of thousands of bets, they could nail the exact order of seven horses in three different races.…

Former Liberal Congressman Is Now a Top Lobbyist Defending a Tax Scam

This story was originally published by ProPublica. ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. For the past six years, government officials have tried ever harder to kill a type of tax avoidance scheme that the Internal Revenue Service has branded “abusive” and among “the worst of the worst tax scams.” The IRS has pursued tens of thousands of audits and warned of hefty penalties facing anyone who exploits it. The Justice Department has targeted top promoters of what it calls “fraudulent” deals with criminal…

26 of America’s Richest Billionaires Paid 4.8 Percent Tax Rate in Recent Years

A new analysis of leaked Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents shows that some of the U.S.’s wealthiest people have paid a disproportionately low federal income tax rate in recent years. In an analysis released Thursday, Americans for Tax Fairness found that, in relation to their wealth, 26 of the nation’s richest billionaires paid an average effective federal income tax rate of just 4.8 percent between 2013 and 2018. Collectively, they paid just $24 billion in taxes — a miniscule amount compared to an immense growth of $500 billion in their wealth over those six years. The report demonstrates the vast…

Bernie Sanders Wants WWII-Style Tax on 95 Percent of Corporate Windfall Profits

On Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) introduced a bill that would capture nearly all of the excess profits being raked in by major U.S. corporations as they exploit ongoing crises to pad shareholders’ and executives’ pockets. The Ending Corporate Greed Act would levy a 95 percent tax on excess profits for corporations that make more than $500 million in yearly revenue until 2024, and would apply to about 30 top companies. The bill, cosponsored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and introduced by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York) in the House, would raise an estimated $400 billion in one year. Unlike…

Research Finds Investment in Permanent Child Tax Credit Would Pay Off 10-Fold

New research finds that if the expanded child tax credit were made permanent, the social and economic benefits from the investment would far outweigh the costs of the program. A working paper from Columbia University, Barnard College and Open Sky Policy Institute researchers finds that if low-income families with one child saw their income increase by $1,000 a year, the benefits would outweigh the cost of the program 10-fold. While making the program permanent would cost the government $97 billion, it would create social benefits worth $982 billion. These benefits include direct impacts, like improved health and longevity for both…

GOP’s Tax Plan Would Raise Taxes by Over $1,000 Annually for Poorest Americans

Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-Florida) plan to force every American to owe income tax in his recently released platform for the Republican Party would raise taxes by over $1,000 for the bottom 40 percent of income earners, a new analysis found. In a report released on Monday, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) estimated that the poorest Americans would be the most affected by Scott’s plan — meaning that the GOP’s tax plan would essentially be to tax the poor. The poorest 20 percent of Americans, who make $12,300 a year on average, would owe about $1,050 more in…

Sanders Urges Tax on Windfall Oil Profits as Companies Exploit Ukraine Crisis

As oil companies seek to profit off of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is calling for officials to place a tax on oil profits and implement price controls in order to lessen the effects of the crisis on the public. “We can no longer allow big oil companies, huge corporations and the billionaire class to use the murderous Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic as an excuse to price gouge consumers,” Sanders wrote over the weekend. “It is time to enact a windfall profits tax and reasonable price controls.” Crude oil prices have been jumping…

Tesla May Pay $0 in Federal Taxes This Year, According to Its Financial Filings

Tesla will likely owe $0 in federal income taxes this year, despite reporting billions of dollars of profits to its shareholders for 2021, according to recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. As first reported by CNN, Tesla has said that its U.S. operations lost $130 million pre-taxes – meaning that the company will likely be able to avoid paying federal income taxes on its record profits of $5.5 billion that it reported to shareholders for 2021. The company, which is valued at over $900 billion, claimed that its profits came from overseas, even though 45 percent of its revenue…

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