Federal authorities were investigating the leak of years of tax returns from billionaires like Elon Musk following a bombshell report by an investigative news outlet, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig said on Tuesday.
ProPublica published the reported income and tax payments made by the richest Americans, including Mr Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Michael Bloomberg.
In the report, the publication found that the billionaires paid a significantly lower percentage of their income to the federal government compared to the average American.
The news organisation said it did not know the source of the leaked information, which included tax returns of thousands of wealthy Americans over the last 15 years, but described the information it received as IRS data.
Private citizens’ tax information was confidential and IRS employees could face prosecution for sharing the information.
“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. Upon reviewing the article, the appropriate contacts were made, as you would expect,” Mr Rettig told US senators during a hearing on Tuesday.
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