Due to tax loopholes that allowed owners of professional sports teams to defer income, at least 18 billionaires, including Erik Prince, George Soros and Erik Prince, received stimulus checks in the COVID pandemic.
Data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), showed widespread problems in government’s system.
The IRS sent $1,200 checks to individuals with an adjusted gross annual income of less than $75,000. In March 2020, A second check, for $600 in December 2020, was sent to individuals with an adjusted gross income below $75,000. The third check, for $1.400, was sent in April 2019.
Despite the income limit of $75,000 however, wealthy individuals still received the money thanks to clever accounting tools to show negative income.
George Soros, a philanthropist and investor who is 91 years old, was one of at least 18 billionaires to have received stimulus checks. Robert Soros, his son, received checks and both returned them
The U.S. government sent three stimulus checks in March, December 2020, April 2021
Soros, an investor and philanthropist worth an estimated $8.6 billion, who has advocated for higher taxes for the wealthy, received two of the three checks and sent his $2,400 back, an analysis by ProPublica found.
“George returned his stimulus checks. He certainly didn’t request one! His spokesperson told the outlet.
Robert Soros, Robert’s son, did the exact same, according to a spokesperson.
ProPublica found that 270 taxpayers collectively had $5.7 billion of income, according their previous tax returns. However, they were able deduct such huge sums from their tax return that they listed negative net incomes and qualified for stimulus checks.
At least 18 of them were billionaires.
Many others were multimillionaires like Dick Fuld (ex-CEO of Lehman Brothers), who is now worth approximately $250 million.
Since the company collapsed in 2008, he has been running a company called Matrix Investment Partners: The tax losses generated by that company were one reason that he got a stimulus check, ProPublica reported.
When asked by the website whether he wanted to leave a comment, he replied “I’m not interested.” Thank you.
Dick Fuld was CEO of Lehman Brothers during the 2008 collapse. He also received a stimulus grant. He is pictured preparing to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in October 2008
Erik Prince, the founder and CEO of controversial private military firm Blackwater received a stimulus package.
Erik Prince, a Trump supporter vocal, was also given a check. Despite his wealth from Blackwater and family, he is valued at approximately $2 billion.
Prince, prior to his tax deductions, had $5.3million in income in 2018. Blackwater received hundreds upon millions of dollars in government contracts.
52-year-old condemned government spending excesses, claiming that we are being bled dry.
Ira Rennert – an 87-year old industrialist and investor valued at $3.7 billion – was another recipient.
Fair Field, Rennert’s Hamptons home, is thought to be the largest in America, measuring 62,000 square feet. It covers almost an acre and a quarter.
Crain’s estimates that the 29-bedroom, beachfront home with a 91-foot-long living room would sell for around $500 million.
Ira Rennert, the owner of the 62,000-square-foot Hamptons property that is thought to be the largest house in America, was also sent the cash
Rennert was pictured with Ingeborg, Rennert’s wife and director at the Lincoln Center in New York City, on October 12.
Rennert built the house during the 1990s. The property taxes alone are $40,000 per calendar month.
Rennert’s $64 million in income for 2018 was erased by $355 million in deductions, for a final total of negative $291 million.
Timothy Headington, an oil mogul, real estate developer and executive producer of such films as Argo and World War Z, posted similar figures and received his check.
ProPublica reported that he had $62 million in income in 2018 but that he had to write off $342 million. His final result was negative $280 millions.
Many of the billionaires who received stimulus checks had used professional sports teams to reduce their taxes.
ProPublica identified Tim Headington, a multi-millionaire film producer, as one of the recipients of a stimulus check. Headington is pictured October 2018, at an AIDS fundraising event.
The cash was also given to Terence Pegula who is the owner of the Buffalo Bills. He is seen in October 10, before his team’s match against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Glen Taylor, the owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team is pictured in November 2017.
Terrence Pegula is worth $5.7 Billion and owns both the NFL’s Buffalo Bills team and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres team.
Glen Taylor, a $2.8 billion worth, struck a deal earlier this year to sell Minnesota’s NBA, WNBA and WNBA teams for $1.5billion.
Some billionaires who weren’t even U.S. citizens and who lived as tax exiles received the checks. Robert Dart, one of the Dart families that produces the red Solo cup, was one of them.
In 2018, he reported an income exceeding $300 million. However, deductions left him with a final figure of $39 million.
Dart and his brother gave up their U.S. citizenship decades before to take advantage of an ex-patriate tax break.
Dart filed his U.S. taxes from an address in Cayman, but received a stimulus check.
He, like George Soros and Robert Soros returned the check.
“Mr. Dart believes that people in his situation should not have received COVID stimul funds’, a spokesperson told ProPublica.
‘Mr. Dart did not request any COVID stimulative funds.
Instead, the U.S. Treasury directly deposited those funds into his account without his consent. Congress had determined that taxpayers who were resident aliens were eligible for such payments.
‘Mr. Dart has returned COVID stimulus funds that he received to U.S. Treasury in accordance with instructions from the IRS.
Joseph DiMenna (left) and Diana, his wife, a Broadway producer, were pictured at the Lincoln Center in mai 2016.
Joseph DiMenna, a partner in the Zweig-DiMenna hedge fund and well-known polo player and philanthropist, also received a check; as did Forrest Preston, the founder of Life Care Centers of America, who is worth an estimated $1.2 billion.
Woodley Hunt, the senior chairman of Hunt Companies, a family-owned firm that is one of the country’s largest owners of multifamily properties, also declared negative income.
Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon, a Democrat, currently chairs the Senate Finance Committee said that the analysis provided further evidence of the urgency to tax reform in order to prevent billionaires using tax loopholes.
He said that the tax code was not designed to tax billionaires fairly or make sure they pay anything.