Top %1 dodge $163 billion in taxes each year. Biden to make vaccines mandatory for federal workers. UK: Archaeological mystery of 80 bound skeletons at building site.
Top %1 dodge $163 billion in taxes each year
A report from the Treasury Department reveals that the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans fail to pay $163 billion in taxes owed to the federal government every year. The 1% make up about 28% of the IRS “tax gap”, or the amount due versus the amount collected. The top 5% account for more than 50% of this gap while the top 20% of earners are responsible for 77.1%. In total, the annual tax gap stands at around $600 billion per year, and could amount to $7 trillion over a decade.
That’s equal to 3% of GDP, or all the income taxes paid by the lowest 90% of taxpayers. By contrast, average wage earners have only a 1% non-compliance rate.
The report indicates that we have a “two-tiered tax system, where ordinary Americans comply with their tax obligations, but many high-end taxpayers do not.” The report points out that “the tax gap can be a major source of inequity. Today’s tax code contains two sets of rules: one for regular wage and salary workers who report virtually all the income they earn; and another for wealthy taxpayers, who are often able to avoid a large share of the taxes they owe“.
Earlier this summer, a leaked trove of IRS files revealed that billionaires like Tesla founder Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paid absolutely nothing in taxes for multiple years. It also revealed tricks the wealthy use to minimize their tax bills. The new Treasury report does not even address these loopholes; it only refers to money that wealthy Americans legally owe but do not pay.
Boosting IRS enforcement
The Biden administration hopes to inject about $80 billion worth of resources into the IRS to hire more personnel and update their systems. The IRS’ current inadequacies prevent the agency from collecting about 15% of the taxes it is due. The report estimates this injection of resources could yield $320bn in additional tax collections over the next ten years and a further $1.6 trillion over following decade. The administration hopes to increase collections by a further $460 billion over a decade by boosting third-party reporting from financial institutions.
The additional resources will improve the IRS’ ability to audit wealthy Americans and corporations more efficiently. But the administration has stressed that auditing will not increase for those earning $400,000 a year or less.
Biden to announce vaccine mandates for federal workers
At around 4pm CT today, President Biden will introduce a new 6-prong strategy to combat the pandemic. There aren’t many details yet, but the 6-prongs will be:
- Vaccinating the unvaccinated
- Furthering protection for the vaccinated
- Keeping schools safely open
- Increasing testing and requiring masking
- Protecting our economic recovery
- Improving care for those with COVID-19
Sources have revealed that Biden will sign executive orders mandating vaccines for all federal workers and contractors. Earlier in July, the White House ordered that federal workers would need to either be vaccinated or submit to regular testing. The new orders will mean that vaccines will no longer be optional for federal workers.
UK: Archaeological mystery of 80 bound skeletons at building site
In Buckinghamshire in 2019, workers breaking ground for a new retirement community discovered 80 skeletons in a mass grave. Some of the dead had been buried with their hands tied behind their backs. Since the discovery, the pandemic has largely halted work at the building site and hampered scientific investigation of the remains.
Researchers aren’t even sure yet how old the skeletons are. They could date from anywhere between Roman times and the 18th century, a span of about 1300 years in Britain. Investigators plan to use radiocarbon dating to get a firm date for the skeletons. Further studies of the bones will reveal the sex of the skeletons and possibly a manner of death for some, but these analyses could take months.
Theories abound as to the identity of the skeletons. None of the skeletons were buried with any valuables and the bound hands imply they might have been prisoners of some kind. Some historians have speculated that the skeletons could date to Anglo-Saxon times (410AD-1066AD), while others think they might have been prisoners of war from England’s Civil War (1642–1651). They could also be convicts hanged at Buckingham Old Gaol.archaeology, Britain, COVID-19, international news, IRS, national news, New Albany MS, Northeast Mississippi news, President Biden, tax cheats, Treasury Department, UK, US news, vaccine mandates, wealth inequality, world news