Top 1% of wealthiest households pay mounting share of all US income taxes

Fox Business:


The richest households paid 40.1% of all federal income taxes in 2018

The share of the nation’s individual income taxes that are paid by the wealthiest households has increased over recent decades alongside their adjusted gross income, recent data shows.

In 2018, the top 1% of taxpayers – defined as those with adjusted gross income above $540,009 – earned 20.9% of all adjusted gross income (AGI) and paid 40.1% of all federal income taxes, according to data from the Tax Foundation. The group paid more in income taxes (at about $615 billion) than the bottom 90% of taxpayers combined ($440 billion).

The share of taxes shouldered by the nation’s richest individuals has climbed over time. In 2001, for example, the top 1% accounted for 33.2% of the nation’s individual income taxes.

From 2001 to 2018, the share paid by the bottom 50% of taxpayers fell to 3% from 4.9%.

However, over that time period, the amount of AGI reported by the wealthiest Americans also rose to 20.9% from 17.4%, likely accounting for a rise in tax obligations. Reported income among the bottom 50% of taxpayers fell.

The top 1% of taxpayers unsurprisingly also paid the highest average tax rate of 25.4%  in 2018, which was more than seven times the rate faced by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also went into effect for taxpayers in 2018 – and the Tax Foundation noted that this lowered the average tax rates paid across groups.

The average tax rate faced by all taxpayers decreased to 13.3% from 14.7% in 2018 from the year prior.

The top 1% of taxpayers saw their average rates fall to 25.4% from 26.8%.

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