Top 10 Percent of Earners Paid 68 Percent of Federal Income Taxes
Top earners were the main target of recent tax increases under President Obama, but the federal income tax system is already highly progressive. The top 10 percent of income earners paid 68 percent of all federal income taxes in 2011 (the latest year available), though they earned 45 percent of all income. The bottom 50 percent paid 3 percent of income taxes, but earned 12 percent of income.
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SHARE OF FEDERAL INCOME TAXES AND INCOME EARNED IN 2011
Source: Internal Revenue Service. Note: Figures do not sum to totals due to rounding.