Income Tax Fact of the Day


IRS data shows that in 2007 — the most recent data available — the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.

Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined.

  4 comments for “Income Tax Fact of the Day

  1. Jan
    1 Aug 2009 at 7:21 am

    Yes, but what percentage of the total income does that top 1% represent? And what about assets? What percent of the total assets do they own?

  2. PE
    1 Aug 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Fair question. Here’s some more info from The Tax Foundation link above…

    The top 1 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $410,096) earned approximately 22.8 percent of the nation’s income.

    The top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.

    The recent IRS data bolsters the findings of an OECD study released last year showing that the U.S. — not France or Sweden — has the most progressive income tax system among OECD nations. We rely more heavily on the top 10 percent of taxpayers than does any nation and our poor people have the lowest tax burden of those in any nation.

    Assets are different. You’ve probably noticed high-income people — often athletes or celebrities — filing for bankruptcy because they spent the money as fast as they earned it. You can have high income/low assets, high assets/low income…you could look up top 1 percent of net worth but that’s a different group than top 1 percent of taxpayers, as there is no income tax on assets…

  3. Jan
    2 Aug 2009 at 6:51 am

    Well, I knew that. I was just trying (poorly) to point out that the deck is stacked for the rich to get richer and to hell with the rest of us.

  4. 9 Nov 2011 at 7:11 pm


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