Smart Dudes: US Billionaires sometimes paid no federal taxes

There were several years where the nation’s richest men paid absolutely no federal income tax, according to a report from ProPublica.

Despite being worth $191.7 billion by Forbes’ accounting, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man reportedly didn’t spend a dime on federal income taxes in 2007 or 2011.

Rocket builder Elon Musk, worth a reported $151 billion, is said to have had the same sweetheart deal with Uncle Sam in 2018.Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg posing for the camera: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Michael BloombergJeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Michael Bloomberg

Citing confidential Internal Revenue Service data, ProPublica also reported businessman and Queens native Carl Icahn got out of paying annuals to the feds twice and philanthropist George Soros did it three times. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg even had a year, recently, where he skipped federal tax season.

And all of those billionaires skirted those taxes legally.

Citing Forbes’ numbers regarding the estimated worth of the 25 richest people in the United States, ProPublica says that group saw its collective wealth grow by $401 billion between 2014 and 2018. Their “true tax rate,” a figure based on that wealth growth and what they paid out, was 3.4%.

Warren Buffet is said to have been big winner when it comes to ducking federal income taxes. The 90-year-old businessman, who advocates for making the wealthy pay their fair share to the feds, saw his wealth increase by $24.3 billion in that four-year period. His true tax rate was 0.1%. That comes out to roughly a dime for every $100 he added to his worth of more than $109 billion during that time.

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