Tax Rate for Richest 400 Taxpayers Plummeted in Recent Decades, Even as Their Pre-Tax Incomes Skyrocketed

According to a CBPP report, the wealthiest in our country are making more money (with pre-tax income up 400 percent since 1995) and getting taxed far less (almost half of the 1995 rates)

May 06, 2010
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Introduction: A Center for Budget and Policy Priorities report argues that the decline in taxes for the wealthiest 400 taxpayers (who each make $139 million or more) in our country amounts to roughly $46 million per filer per year, compared to 1995 rates. During that same time period, the pre-tax incomes of the top 400 rose by over 400 percent. They are, in short, making more and getting taxed far less.

An excerpt from the report: The effective federal income tax rate for the 400 taxpayers with the very highest incomes has declined by nearly half over the past two decades, even as their pre-tax incomes have grown five times larger, new IRS data show.

The top 400 households paid 16.6 percent of their income in federal individual income taxes in 2007, down from 30 percent in 1995. This decline works out to a tax cut of $46 million per filer in 2007, or a total of $18 billion in tax cuts for these households per year.

Read the full report here.

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