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Details claiming to reveal how little income tax US billionaires pay have been leaked to a news website. ProPublica says it has seen the tax returns of some of the world’s richest people, including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett. The website alleges Amazon’s Mr Bezos paid no tax in 2007 and 2011, while Tesla’s Mr Musk paid nothing in 2018. A White House spokeswoman called the leak “illegal”, and the FBI and tax authorities are investigating. ProPublica said it was analysing what it called a “vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data” on the taxes of the billionaires, and would release further details over coming weeks. While the BBC has not been able to confirm the claims, the alleged leak comes at a time of growing debate about the amount of tax paid by the wealthy and widening inequality. ProPublica said the richest 25 Americans pay less in tax — an average of 15.8% of adjusted gross income — than most mainstream US workers. The website said that “using perfectly legal tax strategies, many of the uber-rich are able to shrink their federal tax bills to nothing or close to it” even as their wealth soared over the past few years.

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