Ken Griffin, Citadel, at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha, Sept. 28, 2022.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin has sued the IRS and the Treasury Department over the “unlawful disclosure” of his tax data, escalating the battle in Washington over leaked tax filings of super-wealthy individuals together with Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos.
In a criticism filed Tuesday in federal court docket within the Southern District of Florida, Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel, accuses the IRS of violating its “legal obligations to safeguard and protect his information from unauthorized disclosure,” and willfully and deliberately failing to “establish appropriate administrative, technical or physical safeguards” over its report system.
The claims stem from Griffin’s inclusion in a ProPublica sequence in 2021 analyzing the taxes paid by prime billionaires like Elon Musk and Carl Icahn, a number of of whom paid zero federal earnings taxes in sure years. ProPublica used IRS tax information offered by an nameless supply, and it is unclear how the info was obtained.
Griffin reported a median earnings of $1.7 billion from 2013 to 2018, ProPublica stated, citing his tax returns. One ProPublica article centered on Griffin’s opposition to an Illinois poll measure – which he spent $54 million to oppose – which might have elevated his state tax invoice by over $50 million a yr.
Griffin was not listed as one of many billionaires who paid zero or low tax charges in anyone yr, and, the truth is, the ProPublica tax data confirmed Griffin pays the next efficient tax charge than many prime earners. It additionally confirmed he was the second-largest American taxpayer between 2013 and 2018.
In his lawsuit, Griffin stated he’s “proud of his success and has always sought to pay his fair share of taxes.”
He stated that in or after 2019, “IRS personnel exploited the IRS’s willful failure to establish adequate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for the IRS’s data and records systems to misappropriate confidential tax return information for the highest earning U.S. taxpayers, including Mr. Griffin, and then unlawfully disclosed those materials to ProPublica for publication.”
The IRS and Treasury did not instantly reply to a request for remark.
The leaked tax returns sparked an uproar in Washington, which continues to escalate. The IRS inspector normal and Justice Department are investigating the disclosures, however there have been no findings or costs, and Republicans say they’re pissed off by an absence of solutions.
Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee in October despatched a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen saying “the American people remain in the dark about who was responsible and how the Treasury Department allowed this to happen.” Republicans have additionally highlighted the leak of their opposition to the $80 billion in extra IRS funding handed by the Democrats this summer season.
Griffin was the second-largest donor to Republicans within the midterm elections, in response to OpenSecrets, spending $60 million on federal elections.
People near Griffin stated he is taking up the IRS to guard Americans’ privateness and to verify comparable leaks do not occur to others sooner or later.