Fact Check: Do The Rich Really Pay No Taxes?

Fact Check: Do The Rich Really Pay No Taxes?

The investigative journalism website ProPublica published “The Secret IRS Files,” which gleaned information from illegally leaked income tax records that showed some of the 25 wealthiest Americans paid no income tax one or more years.

Such reporting raises the question: Do the rich fail to pay their “fair share” of income tax? Is this normal?

What does the ProPublica story say?

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ProPublica found that billionaires often managed to employ tax loopholes to legally avoid paying any income tax. Elon Musk paid no income tax in 2018. Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, and Carl Icahn paid no income taxes in two of the last 15 years. George Soros paid no income taxes for three years. The story compares the growth of their “wealth” during this time with the amount of income taxes paid to calculate their “true tax rate.”

What’s the problem with the ProPublica story?

There are several issues with the ProPublica story:

It misrepresents the fact that the highest-earning Americans overall pay the lion’s share

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