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American titans neglect taxes

An analysis by ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, reported based on I.R.S. data that billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk took advantage of tax code loopholes and a focus on taxing income over wealth to avoid paying taxes.

The scandal is that these activities are perfectly legal.

US tax law is centered around income, while much of the super-wealth is tied up in company stock or different ventures that although they have genuine worth, they aren't taxable year to year. ProPublica cites guesstimates from Forbes, which are considered as gross estimates. It lists Bezos as gaining $99 billion in wealth between 2014 and 2018. Though, his income was much lower he reported $4.22 billion of income and paid $973 million in income tax for these years. So he paid on taxes over 20% of his reported income. The issue is that his wealth grew immensely in the meantime. This is something that also plays out for your average American homeowner, but not in the scale mentioned above.

There are two solutions to tackle this issue. The first is to tax unrealized capital gains annually. Senator Ron Wyden has presented a proposition he calls mark-to-showcase that would do precisely this, and he now appears to want to reintroduce it in the wake of the ProPublica investigation. The second is to levy an annual wealth tax on the ultra-wealthy.

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