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US Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ilhan Omar called on President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a letter on Tuesday to “support an important G20 initiative to promote international cooperation on taxing super-rich individuals.”

“This is a historic opportunity for the United States to lead the world on tax justice while strengthening the administration’s important domestic efforts to create a fairer tax system,” wrote Sanders (I-Vt.) and Omar (D-Minn.), who were joined by 16 Democrats in Congress.

When Biden unveiled his 2025 budget proposal in March, the White House called for addressing “unfair aspects of our tax system,” including “reforming the international tax system to reduce incentives to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions” and imposing a 25% minimum tax on Americans with wealth of more than $100 million.

The lawmakers wrote on Tuesday: “We agree with you that it is time for the super-rich to pay their fair share,” citing research showing that the richest billionaires in the United States pay an effective income tax rate of 8.2 percent, compared to just 2 percent in other countries.

“Every tax dollar that a billionaire didn’t pay could have been used to invest in our communities, address climate change, and support public goods – from education to healthcare to infrastructure – that are critical to prosperity and a strong economy,” they stressed, supporting proposals by Biden and U.S. lawmakers to “build a fairer tax system.”

The letter to Biden and Yellen states:

Brazil, which holds the G20 presidency this year, is calling for action on taxing high-net-worth individuals. The aim is to increase cooperation among G20 countries to support tax progression and ensure the world’s richest people pay their fair share. This could involve coordinated standards, information sharing, or a global minimum tax on the rich, which could theoretically be met by many of the leading proposals to raise taxes on the super-rich, including the minimum income tax on billionaires. We have seen that international cooperation on tax can deliver significant progress, as demonstrated by the landmark agreement by more than 130 countries in 2021 to create a global tax framework for corporate taxation. This is an opportunity to build on what we have learned and achieve better results through cooperation, but with a focus on individuals rather than companies.

In April, when Shared dreamsAs reported at the time, Fernando Haddad, Brazil’s finance minister, joined leaders from Germany, South Africa and Spain to push for a 2 percent wealth tax to encourage the world’s billionaires to “invest in public goods such as health, education, the environment and infrastructure.”

“The argument behind such a tax is simple: we need to improve the ability of our tax systems to meet the principle of fairness, so that contributions correspond to ability to pay,” the ministers explained. “The persistent loopholes in the system mean that wealthy individuals can minimise their income taxes.”

Sanders, Omar and their congressional colleagues argued to Biden and Yellen that “Brazil’s G20 initiative is in the strategic interest of the United States.”

“International cooperation will strengthen national efforts to tax the wealthiest, including those that you and many of us in Congress have pushed forward,” the letter said. “We encourage your administration to join others in supporting these efforts and help lead the G20 to a historic agreement that will ensure a fairer U.S. and global economy.”

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