The revelation that, without violating any law, in USA there are billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk who do not pay taxes, it could give wings to Joe Biden’s initiative that the richest contribute “what they must contribute” and pressure Congress to adopt the president’s tax reform.

“Anyone, with expert accountants, can minimize and sometimes reduce the tax to be paid to zero”, Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan organization, told AFP.

The debate returned to center stage on Tuesday, when the independent organization ProPublica revealed that several billionaires, including the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, and that of Tesla, Elon Musk, two of the three richest men in the world had paid little or no tax in relation to their total wealth, made up largely of shares in their companies and not just their salary income.

Tax credits for dependent children, reductions related to loans or investments in excess of income: the US tax code is “like Swiss cheese, full of holes,” says Maya MacGuineas, specifying that these reductions represent about 2 billion dollars each year.

“The more money you earn in different ways, the more elements you can find in the tax code to take advantage of. And there is nothing illegal in doing this,” she insists, highlighting the need to simplify the system.

Billionaires versus workers

These revelations could push part of the public into the camp of Joe Biden, who wants the richest (companies and households) to pay more taxes.

“It is time for businesses and the richest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share,” she repeated at the end of April.

The reform proposed by the White House plans to increase taxes for both the wealthiest citizens and large companies.

Several of the personalities cited in the ProPublica report run some of the most profitable companies on the planet.

“Billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay a small fraction of their wealth in taxes compared to working families. It’s not fair,” Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a tweet.

“Taxes on billionaires”

“Real Tax Rate for Billionaires: Warren Buffett: 0.10%; Jeff Bezos: 0.98%; Michael Bloomberg: 1.30%; Elon Musk: 3.27%. Tax rate for American workers: 24.2%. Taxes on billionaires. Make them pay their fair share,” tweeted another Democratic senator, leftist Bernie Sanders.

But the Republican opposition continues to oppose any attempt to undo the policies of former President Donald Trump, who in 2017 carried out massive tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest.

“We know that more needs to be done to ensure that the highest-earning companies and individuals pay their fair share,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

Joe Biden’s plan states that, for the highest 1% of households, the tax rate would go from 37% to 39.6%.

As for capital gains and stock transactions of those who earn more than a million dollars a year, which until now were taxed at 20%, they would also pay 39.6%. Only 0.3% of households would be affected by this measure.

And be careful that someone forgets to declare all their income to the treasury, because under this administration the means of control of the tax authorities will be strengthened.

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