Richest Americans Hide 20% Of Income, Costing You $175 Billion Annually

Richest Americans Hide 20% Of Income, Costing You $175 Billion Annually

In "The Wealth Tax And Our Shared Insanity," I offered a deliberately humorous take on the wealthy and their relationship with taxes. "If you’re worth $50 million or more (let alone $1 billion or more) and you haven’t figured out how to avoid paying most taxes, then you’ve failed as a rich person," I wrote. While aimed at eliciting a chuckle, that assessment doubled as a pseudo-lament. At a time when countless families across the developed world are struggling to survive economically in
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12 thoughts on “Richest Americans Hide 20% Of Income, Costing You $175 Billion Annually

  1. This is all highly subjective Data but for certain the Big Dollars are at the upper end of the scale for obvious reasons. If you are in ‘man on the street mode ‘ you realize the lower earners can give about anyone a run for their money when it comes to hiding earned income and collecting benefits while they do so…No Big Bucks though in this group..
    The real”flunkies ” in the hide your income game are like myself people who don’t care to deal with the IRS made/make lots of money and fall moderately short of the 50 Million threshold H …mentions. Again , it is ideological as to morality aspects and also very prone to available opportunities based on specific occupations engaged in.. Just main street talkin’ here !!

    1. Personally, that’s why I don’t care much about the % as given at the individual levels. If the poor hide 7% and the rich 20%, okay, that’s a big difference but maybe you’re right and, if you add benefit fraud, then maybe the poor ‘steal’ as much as the rich.

      But where it gets interesting is “amount that would be collected if everyone was clean”. You’d think that poor people being quite a bit more numerous than the rich might compensate for their lower propensity to steal via sheer mass. Apparently not. The top 1% unpaid taxes represents 36% of all unpaid taxes. Yikes. Spending some money on more auditors/getting simpler tax laws seem like the 2 best investments Uncle Sam can make…

      1. The GOP is adamantly opposed to more auditors (not tomention taxes in general). It has worked overtime over the last thirty years (at least) to neuter the IRS as a tax collecting agency.

  2. Funny. I just got done loading Vanguard and Fidelity 1099 information into the tax software for my 2020 submission. While the pacifier on my browser was spinning, indicating that the load of my information is in progress, I was lamenting the corruption of the elites. All the while thinking in astonishment to myself that programs such as our robotic space program is one of the last, functioning aspects of what used to be an American prowess to solve problems.

    (…if there is a god, please do not let there be a conflagration in the Taiwan Strait for the outcome for America might not be so good.)

    The elites have no vision for America. Just let us people get skimmed. Just put more excess rents on us. Let our infrastructure wear out while purposefully avoiding the steps that would lead to future of abundance in America. And they are nurturing a new antebellum, this one concentrated to the American South but not to be limited there.

    I cannot fathom why the elites purposefully crashed America. The only place I ever land when asking this question is that our nation is worn out, hollow, and empty of ideas. Rather than taking responsibility and making a difference, they front-run us on the way out the door, shapeshifting, because they have no principles, to remain in power.

    1. I cannot fathom why the elites purposefully crashed America. Duh? To put us further down the road to oligarchy, the elite’s true vision for America. If you want to know where we are headed, take a close look at Russia today.

      In a country where it’s common for CEOs to pay less income tax than their secretaries, I think they may be hiding a lot more than 20% of their income. How’s that accomplished? Divide the populous along racial, religious and income status lines. Keep them fighting with each other over social issues (guns, abortion, welfare state) and they won’t notice how they are getting screwed by the politicians that are owned by the rich.

    2. I was thinking recently that this may go down as the biggest own goal in history. Rome took a few hundred years to implode on itself after giving up on democracy. Most other empires dissolved in the aftermath of catastrophic wars.

  3. It seems that the top 5% should be forced to file a document that compiles income and expenses for all accounts both foreign and domestic for the prior 10 years.

  4. The USA has always been an oligarchy.
    We 99%ers get to let off steam by exercising our rights via the Constitution.
    Keeps things rolling along (and using the tax code to our advantage) just as they have been since the first tree we climbed.
    Use the search term “net worth of the signers of the Declaration of Independence “.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.
    Get over it.

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