Illegally Leaked Tax Docs Show Americans Use Tax Law to Lower Tax Bill

In a development that should shock no one, a new report shows the legal means used by the wealthiest Americans to lower the amount of taxes they owe. Many on the left are using the illegal breach to justify their push for higher taxes.


Investigative non-profit organization ProPublica got its hands on highly private tax documents of some of the richest Americans, detailing what they call “tax-avoidance strategies beyond the reach of ordinary people.”

  • These “perfectly legal tax strategies” lowered the tax bill for people such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, who reduce their tax liability through charitable donations and not realizing gains from investments like stock or real estate. 
  • In the wake of the apparently illegal release of this information, Democrats in Congress are using it to squeeze moderate members hesitant to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, saying they are not paying “their fair share.” 
  • The IRS announced it will be investigating the publication of private tax information, with IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig telling the Senate it is addressing “the allegations that the source” material for the article “came from the Internal Revenue Service.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Gizmodo and Vanity Fair played up the class warfare in their reporting, erroneously drawing the line between cheating on taxes and the legal mechanisms those like George Soros and Elon Musk use, and headlining their article that those exposed believe “paying taxes is for poor people.” 
  • The Washington Post glossed over the treacherously illegal disclosure of individuals’ tax documents and highlight comments by Democrats in Washington, including White House press secretary Jen Psaki who argued it is evidence to push to ensure “corporations, individuals who are at the highest income are paying more of their fair share” in taxes. 
  • CNN Business focused on the legal reaction from the Treasury Department, which stated the leak is being investigated by several law enforcement and inspector general divisions.



  • The Daily Caller noted ProPublica’s determination of an individuals’ “true tax rate”, which the nonprofit “calculated” using one’s overall wealth, rather than annual earnings, to calculate what the left is calling a “fair share.” 
  • The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board decried the release of the information, saying it was released to serve political interests and connects the dots between the Biden administration’s current efforts to raise taxes on the “wealthiest Americans” and the release of the data, particularly as the story post the same day a Senate Finance Committee hearing was held. 
  •’s Katie Pavlich collated the conservative reaction online, most of whom are outraged at not only the privacy breach, but the convenient timing, and the fact that “IRS illegally leaking confidential taxpayer information to a liberal nonprofit in an attempt to build support for Biden tax hikes should be the lead story everywhere.”

Author’s Take

Most Americans’ reaction to the effective tax rates of some of the wealthiest among us could be justified if illegal schemes were used to avoid tax payments. Some of the more populist-leaning conservative outlets did not touch this story with a ten-foot pole, perhaps for that very reason. But these are entirely legitimate tax avoidance mechanisms.

The Wall Street Journal and Katie Pavlich hit the nail on the head: the real story is the criminal leak of said information, likely for partisan purposes.  The political weaponization of the IRS is a disdainful abuse of power. This was not a whistleblower. Whether it was an underling at the IRS with a partisan spirit, or a esoteric directive from senior management, it must be rooted out and punished in such a manner as to discourage it from ever happening again.

Return to Freespoke

© Dallas Gerber, 2021