The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.
Over the same period, the average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers declined to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent.
The top income tax rate is 35 percent, so how can people who make so much pay so little in taxes? The nation's tax laws are packed with breaks for people at every income level. There are breaks for having children, paying a mortgage, going to college, and even for paying other taxes. Plus, the top rate on capital gains is only 15 percent.
There are so many breaks that 45 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax for 2010, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
Kliphnote: Maybe the AP should tell the whole story.
Most of those 45% that don't pay any federal income
tax are the low income "poor".
The tax rate is 0-35%.
I don't care if the rich pay 100%.
It just that the low income "poor" that don't have a job
living off the backs of the working people.
I had to work 8-10 hours a day 5-6 (sometimes 7) days
a week to feed my family.
And others did nothing, and had the government feed
and cloth them. And put a roof over their heads.
No jobs, living off the backs of the tax payers.
And no real intention of working.
While I had to work, and pay taxes.
Now they want more, more, more.
Do I sound bitter? Damn straight!
I don't mind helping the helpless.
I do mind helping the clueless.