Taylor Swift, Lebron James' Tax Info Exposed In Latest ProPublica IRS Leak
Ever since ProPublica published the first reports based on its leaked stash of "top secret" IRS files that were apparently leaked to the investigative media organization (how, or by whom, remains unclear), liberals and conservatives have reacted very differently, as Liberals reacted with outrage at the supposedly absurdly low rates paid by America's richest, while conservatives decried the leaks as the latest example of IRS corruption (remember back in the good 'ol days of the Obama Administration when the agency was caught discriminating against conservative groups by disproportionately targeting them for audits?)
Fast forward nine months, and the Biden Administration has rolled out its 'billionaires minimum tax' in its budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year. Meanwhile nobody has been punished for the leaks (although a handful of Senate Republicans have been demanding answers).
At any rate, on Wednesday ProPublica decided it was time to revive the pressure on America's richest (conveniently just over a week after Elon Musk, one of the key subjects in the leaks, became embroiled in a controversy after becoming Twitter's largest shareholder) with its latest report based on the leaked, top-secret files.
This time, they have expanded the list of financially 'outed' wealthy people to include not just the uber-rich billionaire oligarchs like Jeff Bezos, but popular athletes and entertainers like Lebron James and Taylor Swift - and even noted Oscar-winning actor and environmentalist George Clooney.
The report starts by pointing out that to make it on the list, one needs to report $110 million or more in taxable income during the years covered by the leaks.
Here are a few more factoids from the report:
- Each of the top 11 averaged over $1 billion in annual income between 2013 to 2018. The typical American would have to work for 25,000 years to earn just $1 billion (although they would need to work a lot less hard if they had invested in bitcoin).
- Among the top 400, certain groups of people stood out. Tech billionaires made up 10 of the top 15 incomes.
- About a fifth of the top 400 earners were managers of hedge funds, making them the largest professional group. Private equity fund founders were also heavily represented.
- Heirs are also heavily represented, with 11 heirs of Walmart founders Sam and Bud Walton and four of Amway founder Richard DeVos included.
- Much of the base information is similar to previous reports (although the tax figures paid were slightly higher in terms of percentage of overall income, as represented by PP). Collectively, the top 400 paid an average tax rate of 22% from 2013 to 2018.