The U.S. tax system is progressive, with higher income taxpayers facing higher tax rates
July 01, 2013
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Too often, discussions about the federal tax code are clouded and confused because they focus on only one part of our federal tax system — and ignore the fact that Americans pay many other taxes. Viewed in aggregate, our tax system is generally progressive, with higher-income taxpayers paying a larger share of their income in taxes. However, taxpayers at different ends of the income distribution pay different types of taxes. For low-income Americans, the payroll tax is the dominant tax; for high-income Americans, individual and corporate income taxes are important parts of their effective tax rate.

For a full discussion of the effective tax rates borne by taxpayers with different levels of income, see "How Much Do Americans Pay in Federal Taxes?"

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