From hedge fund managers to retail magnates to superstar athletes, the ultra-wealthy are increasingly dodging taxes, depriving the U.S. and other countries of billions in revenue at a time of economic turmoil and slashed public services. Aided by a booming tax-avoidance industry of lawyers, consultants, accountants, bankers and appraisers, they're outfoxing the IRS and other national collection agencies by shifting income offshore, setting up shell companies, profiting from charitable trusts, and exploiting loopholes in the tax code, Bloomberg News has found.
Sheldon Adelson makes no secret of his disdain for the estate tax. “How many times do you have to pay taxes on money?” the casino magnate asks, leaning on a blue cane on the cobblestones of Wall Street on a crisp October morning.
Wal-Mart Stores heiress Alice Walton founded Crystal Bridges in 2011. Bankrolled by more than $1 billion in donations from her family, the museum attests to the Waltons’ generosity, vast wealth, and skill at preserving their fortune across generations.
Billionaire John Paulson’s Bermuda venture, which positions its owners to avoid taxes on hedge fund earnings by routing money through a reinsurer, sold about 3 percent as much coverage as competitors in its first year.
A former Cold War code breaker may have cracked the tax code for hedge funds. James H. Simons has deployed an unusual strategy at Renaissance Technologies LLC to skirt hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes for himself and other investors
Ray Lane, former chairman of Hewlett-Packard Co. and partner emeritus at venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is in a dispute with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that has left him with a $100 million tax bill.