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IRS investigates release of tax information of ultrawealthy

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The IRS launched an investigation into the release of ultrawealthy Americans' tax information.

Nonprofit news organization ProPublica published details about the reported income and tax payments of Amazon.com Inc.'s Jeff Bezos, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s Warren Buffett and others. The report found years in which the billionaires paid little or no federal income tax.

Because taxpayer information is confidential, there are potential criminal penalties for IRS employees or others who release the information. ProPublica officials said they do not know the identity of their source.

“I share the concerns of every American for the sensitive and private nature and confidential nature of the information the IRS receives," said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “Trust and confidence in the Internal Revenue Service is sort of the bedrock of asking people and requiring people to provide financial information.”

Read more from The Wall Street Journal.

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