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HOW THE TAX BURDEN IS DISTRIBUTED / WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION

According to the Internal Revenue Service, in 2007 the top one-tenth of 1 percent of U.S. tax returns were filed by 141,000 people reporting an average income of $7.4 million. These returns accounted for nearly 12 percent of the nation's total adjusted gross income (AGI) and approximately 20 percent of all federal individual income taxes -- paying an average of $1.6 million apiece.

That same year, the 1.4 million people who constituted the top 1 percent of earners (AGI over $410,096) took in approximately 22.8 percent of the nation's income and paid 40.4 percent of all federal income taxes. This latter figure exceeded the 39.4 percent of the income tax burden that was shouldered by the 134 million people comprising the bottom 95 percent of all earners.

The top 5 percent of earners made 37.4 percent of the nation's income and paid 60.6 percent of all federal income taxes.

The top 10 percent of earners made 48.1 percent of the nation's income and paid 71.2 percent of all federal income taxes.

The top 25 percent of earners (AGI over $66,532) made 68.7 percent of the nation's income, and they paid 86.6 percent of all dollars collected as federal income tax.

The bottom 50 percent of earners made 12.3 percent of the nation's income and paid just 2.9 percent of all federal income taxes.


Adapted from "Summary of Latest Federal Individual Income Tax Data," by Gerald Prante (July 30, 2009).

RESOURCES:

Putting a Face on America's Tax Returns
By The Tax Foundation
2012

Summary of Latest Federal Individual Income Tax Data (1980-Present)
By The Tax Foundation

CBO: Top 40% Paid 106.2% of Income Taxes; Bottom 40% Paid -9.1%, Got Average of $18,950 in 'Transfers'
By Terrence Jeffrey
December 9, 2013

Fact Check: The Wealthy Already Pay More Taxes
By Stephen Ohlemacher
September 20, 2011

The Rich Pay More Taxes: Top 20 Percent Pay Record Share of Income Taxes
By Curtis Dubay
May 4, 2009

The Rich Don't Pay Enough?
By Walter E. Williams
August 30, 2012

Who Pays America's Tax Burden, and Who Gets the Most Government Spending?
By The Tax Foundation
March 2007

Is President Obama Really A Socialist? Let's Analyze Obamanomics
By Peter Ferrara
December 20, 2012

Who's Paying the Taxes?
By Frank Pastore
April 1, 2007

Top 1% Pays More Taxes Than Bottom 95%
By Tim Andrews
July 31, 2009
 
47% Will Pay No Federal Income Tax
By Jeanne Sahadi
October 3, 2009


HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE:

The U.S. Income Tax Burden
By Congessional Budget Office
April 17, 2000

Who Pays the Taxes
By Bruce Bartlett
December 6, 2005


WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION:

The Fallacy of Redistribution
By Thomas Sowell
September 20, 2012


EXPENDITURES FOR ANTI-POVERTY PROGRAMS:

Where Your Taxes All Go
By Stephen Meister
September 30, 2010


THE LEFT PLANS TO RAISE TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS:

We Are the 98 Percent
By Cliff Asness
January 7, 2013

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