You would be surprised at how much billionaires received in stimulus money.
- Data showed that 270 Americans with a total income of $ 5.7 billion received some COVID-19 stimulus money from the CARES Act.
- Despite huge revenues, tax write-offs made these Americans eligible for stimulus checks.
- This incident revealed an error in the way stimulus payments were distributed.
Stimulus checks were made available by the federal government in both 2020 and 2021 with the aim of helping people cope with the economic consequences of COVID-19.
Most people know that these checks were sent out or deposited in folks bank accounts under both the Trump and Biden administrations, and that there were income limits to be eligible for the payments.
But despite the fact that the stimulus money was intended to help withstand the financial damage that ordinary people experience due to lockdowns, new data from ProPublica shows that a surprising number of billionaires also received money from the federal relief effort.
In fact, ProPublica found that a total of 270 taxpayers who had reported $ 5.7 billion in total income on previous tax returns ended up qualifying for stimulus payments. Here’s how it happened.
Some of the wealthiest Americans were able to take advantage of COVID-19 stimulation checks for this reason
According to ProPublica, a total of 18 billionaires and 270 other very wealthy people received thousands of dollars from the CARES Act, which was the first COVID-19 relief bill. This included hedge fund managers and corporate attacks, which have billions of dollars in collective wealth in their name.
The CARES Act offered payments worth $ 1,200 per year. person; $ 2,400 pr. couple; and $ 500 per. justified dependent. Many very wealthy individuals received these payments because the IRS automatically sent them to single taxpayers with a reported income of $ 75,000 or less on their tax returns and to married taxpayers with a total income of $ 150,000 or less.
While entitlement to payments was phased out above these income levels, the 270 rich taxpayers identified by ProPublica were able to make full or partial payments anyway because they were able to use tax depreciation to wipe out much of the income they had made . In fact, their depreciation and deductions left them reporting an income below the eligibility threshold, despite huge revenues.
ProPublica found that while the 270 ultra-wealthy taxpayers had billions in collective earnings, the tax savings they were entitled to ended up allowing them to declare low or even negative incomes on their tax returns. They thus came well below the level at which they would have been excluded from CARES Act payments. This was probably also a problem with the other two stimulus checks, although it was not specifically included in ProPublica’s analysis.
How could this happen? The ultra-wealthy taxpayers have more flexibility when making taxes than most people because they get little of their income in wages and often have business interests that allow them to declare more deductions and losses than most ordinary people. Of the 270 wealthy people who got stimulus check$ 82 million – or 1.4% of their total earnings – came from salaries.
Some of the taxpayers who received these public payments stated to ProPublica that they had returned the checks they were sent. Most also said they had not requested the funds and they were deposited without their consent. The very fact that they received the payments at all shows one of the flaws in the automatic distribution of assistance that the COVID-19 incentive legislation approved.
Unfortunately, while billionaires received stimulus payments, many ordinary Americans continue to struggle with the persistent effects of the pandemic. And as it stands today, the government will hardly approve a fourth payment despite one petition signed by millions demanding one.
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