.@ProPublica has obtained IRS records for thousands of America's wealthiest people.

To understand how some ultrarich stay that way without paying much in taxes, familiarize yourself with a strategy known as "Buy, Borrow, Die." (THREAD)
2/ Most people need an income to pay for things like food and shelter.

The richest don't.

They can just live on borrowed cash.
3/ Some of the ultra-wealthy BUY assets, build companies, or inherit fortunes.

As long as they don't sell these assets, they owe no taxes on them.
4/ And since every dollar they earn can be taxed, they may try to keep their incomes as low as possible.
5/ So how do these super-rich pay for all their stuff without an income?

They can BORROW against their holdings, and the banks give them a really good deal.
6/ If you had the option of taking a $10 million salary and being taxed 37% by the IRS... OR borrowing $10 million against your assets at only single-digit interest, which one would you take?
7/ That's how a billionaire can live the most luxurious life imaginable while reporting little to no taxable income.
8/ Sometimes billionaires set their businesses up so that the profits and losses fall through to their personal taxes. In those cases, they can deduct the interest on the business loans on their personal taxes, reducing or wiping out income.
9/ And when these billionaires ultimately DIE, they can use complicated trusts to avoid estate tax, allowing their heirs and others to inherit stocks & assets tax-free.
10/ This creates a new generation of ultra-wealthy, and the cycle starts all over again.
11/ Read the full story on The Secret IRS Files:
12/ This is just the first piece of an ongoing reporting project. Sign up now to be updated as each new story in the series publishes: propublica.org/newsletters/th…
13/ If you have information or expertise that could help our reporters on this project, you can reach them securely here: projects.propublica.org/tips/help-us-r…

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More from @propublica

8 Jun
.@ProPublica has obtained IRS data on thousands of America’s wealthiest people, providing an unprecedented look inside the finances of titans like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates & Mark Zuckerberg. (Thread)
2/ The records show not just the income and taxes paid by these multibillionaires, but also their investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.
3/ What's revealed demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: That everyone pays their fair share & the richest pay the most.
Read 16 tweets
4 Jun
We’re looking for six journalists to join our local reporting network! Deadline to apply: July 5. (THREAD)

2/ Journalists, here’s what you’ll do:

Spend a year, starting in Sept. 2021, working on a local accountability project that is important to your community.
3/ Here’s what we’ll provide:

- Salary coverage plus benefits allowance.
- Support and guidance from one of our senior editors.
- Access to our speciality teams, including data, research, design, engagement and audience.
Read 13 tweets
26 May
A grand jury has reportedly been empaneled in the NYC probe of Trump Org’s potentially criminal business practices.

We previously detailed how Trump’s businesses told different stories to tax officials and lenders about key Manhattan buildings. (THREAD)
2/ It began in Oct. 2019 when we looked at never-before-seen tax documents showing that the numbers Trump Org gave to lenders about its buildings didn't always match what it told city tax officials:
3/ For instance, Trump Org told a lender that it took in twice as much rent from one building in 2017 as it reported to tax authorities during the same year. It also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of its signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.
Read 14 tweets
1 May
Remember the big push to vaccinate people with preexisting conditions?

A @ProPublica analysis of CDC data shows how that faltered big time.

Vaccination rates are generally much lower in counties w/ high rates of comorbidities than in healthier (usually wealthier) ones 👇👇
2/ As of 4/25, counties with high levels of chronic illnesses had, on average, immunized 57% of seniors, compared to 65% of seniors in counties with the lowest comorbidity risk.
3/ Counties with the highest health risk were significantly less likely than healthier counties to have vaccinated a large majority of their older residents.
Read 20 tweets
29 Apr
Columnist @errollouis pleaded today to “watch the troubling video of the final moments of Kawaski Trawick’s life,” which is “every bit as sad and outrageous” as the videos of Eric Garner or George Floyd.

We agree: You need to know about it. Here's why👇

2/ Two years ago, an NYPD officer killed Trawick in his own apartment, less than two minutes after arriving.
Trawick had been holding a bread knife & a stick. The officer’s own (Black and more experienced) partner told him, “No, no, don’t don’t.”

3/ We published video showing it all:
•Trawick just standing in his own apt
•Officer fires Taser w/o warning
•His partner repeatedly tries to stop him
•Officer shoots 3x, pauses, shoots again
•Trawick dies almost instantly

Warning: Graphic footage
Read 7 tweets
28 Apr
The Federal Reserve got praise for what it did to stabilize the economy during the pandemic. But journalists @Cezary and Allan Sloan revealed an unintended consequence of its actions:

The Fed accelerated wealth inequality. Here’s how. (THREAD)
2/ When COVID-19 hit, unemployment soared and stocks plummeted. To ensure credit markets would stay open and businesses could keep borrowing, the Fed cut interest rates and bought up vast amounts of Treasury IOUs and other securities.

The moves helped the stock market. A lot.
3/ The Fed’s policies sparked a multitrillion-dollar stock market boom. And the people who benefited the most were the wealthiest 10% of Americans: They hold 89% of stocks and mutual fund shares owned by individuals, Fed data shows.
Read 13 tweets

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