Photo by Bruno Figueiredo on Unsplash Taxes took center stage at the Met Gala recently, when Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attended the event wearing a white gown with “TAX THE RICH” emblazoned on the back in red. The ensuing discussion was wide ranging, covering everything f
Publish Date: Oct 12, 2021
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Photo by Bruno Figueiredo on Unsplash Taxes took center stage at the Met Gala recently, when Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attended the event wearing a white gown with “TAX THE RICH” emblazoned on the back in red. The ensuing discussion was wide ranging, covering everything from the designer’s background to Ocasio-Cortez’s salary and net worth and the ethics of politicians attending the Met Gala at all. There were even articles that worked the dress into a wider discussion of the Democratic party’s tax plan. Whatever you think about the dress, politicians attending museum galas in general, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez specifically, the message was clear and called attention to a real issue: the fact that the amount of tax some of us pay relative to the money we make doesn’t seem to add up. Further driving this point home is the recent release of the Pandora papers, the largest release of offshore financial information in history which shows how wealthy individuals from all over the world store their wealth and set up trusts in places like the Cayman Islands or South Dakota (yes, it turns out that South Dakota is a major tax haven), where it’s less subject to what they view as “unfavorable” taxation. Speaking of taxes and things that don’t add up, that brings us to the subject of this episode: we’re talking about the tax gap, that is the yawning void between how much tax is owed and how much tax gets paid to the IRS. Where does the tax gap come from (hint: not always where you think)? Why are some people so reluctant to pay their fair share, despite having more than enough money to do so? We also take a detour into dynastic wealth, moral millionaires, and what money does to our brains. Mentioned on the show: Millionaires asking billionaires to pay emergency taxes ProPublica’s The Secret IRS Files series of stories on the taxes of the ultra wealthy, including an article about how and why they conducted their reporting. Abigail Disney on what wealthy families teach their children about holding onto dynastic wealth. How the “famliy fund” loophole make its easier to avoid paying taxes Kelly Phillips Erb talks to Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Steve Rosenthal about whether or not billionaires pay income tax The IRS explains the tax gap Another primer on the tax gap and its components, this one from the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget A closer look at the IRS’s tax gap numbers. Examining who commits federal tax evasion and why. Who gets audited? <a href="https://www.propublica.org/article/irs-sorry-but-its-just-easier-and-cheaper-to-audit-the-poor?utm_source=pocket-newta