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How Susquehanna’s Jeff Yass Avoided $1 Billion in Taxes

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by Justin Elliott, Jeff Ernsthausen and Paul Kiel

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

In the high-stakes world of high-speed, short-term securities trading, investors can reap massive payouts but often face higher tax rates due to the nature of their business. But one of America's richest men somehow earns billions from speedy trades while paying a tax rate lower than many middle-class Americans.

The Man

Among dozens of Wall Street billionaires whose tax returns ProPublica examined, one stood out: Jeff Yass of Susquehanna International Group.

The Mystery

Yass consistently pays lower tax rates than his peers, even as he has risen to be one of the top 10 highest earners in the country, receiving more than $1 billion per year in income. He paid an average federal income tax rate of just 19% in recent years, far below what many of his fellow Wall Street billionaires pay. That has saved Yass more than $1 billion in taxes over six years, ProPublica estimates.

What has made this pattern all the more remarkable is the nature of Susquehanna’s business: The firm was built on high-frequency trading, which tends to produce short-term gains; these are taxed at around 40%. And yet, year after year, Yass’........

© ProPublica

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