FBI Now Investigating Leak That Shows Jeff Bezos And Elon Musk Paid Zero Income Tax

by : Emily Brown on : 12 Jun 2021 16:34
FBI Now Investigating Leak That Shows Jeff Bezos And Elon Musk Paid Zero Income TaxPA Images

The FBI is investigating a leak that revealed billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk paid almost no federal income tax in recent years. 

Confidential IRS tax records of the likes of Bezos, Musk, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were featured in a report earlier this week by non-profit investigative journalism organisation ProPublica, which received the documents anonymously.


On Tuesday, June 8, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Charles Rettig told a Senate committee an investigation would be opened to find out more about the leak, explaining: ‘I can confirm that there is an investigation with respect to the allegations that the source of the information in that article came from the Internal Revenue Service.’

Jeff Bezos (PA Images)PA Images

Two days later, Douglas O’Donnell, the IRS’s deputy commissioner, confirmed the US Treasury ‘made investigative referrals to their Office of Inspector General as well as the FBI,’ as The Independent reports.

O’Donnell said referrals had also been made to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and he told a House Ways and Means committee panel: ‘We fully support any investigation under taken and will urge the investigative authorities to keep Congress appropriately informed of their findings’.


ProPublica’s report suggested the 25 wealthiest people in the US paid just 3.4% of their overall wealth in federal income tax, while Bezos is claimed to have paid no income tax between 2007 and 2011, and SpaceX CEO Musk allegedly paid none in 2018.

Elon Musk (PA Images)PA Images

Other billionaires accused of not paying income tax across various years were Michael Bloomberg, investor Carl Icahn, George Soros and Warren Buffett.

Following the leak, a group of Republican senators wrote a joint letter in which they stated: ‘[The] Treasury and the IRS must hold accountable any and all individuals who broke federal law by inappropriately sharing the confidential tax information and tax returns of multiple Americans.’


Meanwhile, Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren responded to say the tax system is ‘rigged for billionaires who don’t make their fortunes through income.’

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Elon Musk, FBI, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Now, Tax


The Independent
  1. The Independent

    FBI to probe billionaire IRS leak that revealed Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos paid little to federal tax