U.S. investigates leak of rich Americans’ tax records

PSAKI: “Any unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information by a person with access is illegal”

The U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday called on law enforcement to investigate the disclosure of tax records cited in a media report that showed that some of America’s richest people paid little to no income taxes.

U.S. media outlet ProPublica said it obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation's wealthiest people…

The data indicated that billionaires including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla founder Elon Musk paid no federal income taxes during some years..

The IRS is part of the Treasury Department and its many tax records are considered confidential documents.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has sought tax increases on the wealthy to help fund proposed spending on infrastructure and social programs, including raising the top tax rate to 39.6% from the current 37% and nearly doubling the capital gains tax rate to 39.6% for Americans earning $1 million annually or more.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it’s matter of fairness.

PSAKI: "We know that there is more to be done to ensure that corporations (and) individuals who are at the highest income are paying more of their fair share,"

Treasury Department spokeswoman Lily Adams said in an emailed statement that the disclosure of tax records has been referred to the FBI, federal prosecutors and two internal Treasury Department watchdogs, "all of whom have independent authority to investigate."

ProPublica described the records as "confidential" and did not disclose how it obtained them.

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