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The Top 10 Percent of Earners Paid 70 Percent of Federal Income Taxes

Created on October 3, 2011

The Top 10 Percent of Earners Paid 70 Percent of Federal Income Taxes

Top earners are the target for new tax increases, but the U.S. tax system is already highly progressive. The top 1 percent of income earners paid 38 percent of all federal income taxes in 2008, while the bottom 50 percent paid less than 3 percent.

 

This Level of Income Earners ...

... Paid This Proportion of the Federal Income Tax in 2008.

 

3%

11%

16%

11%

21%

38%

Bottom 50%

26%– 50%

11%– 25%

6%– 10%

2%–5%

Top 1%

Sources: Tax Foundation, “Summary of Latest Federal Individual Income Tax Data,” October 6, 2010, at http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html (October 3, 2011); Internal Revenue Service, “SOI Tax Stats–Individual Statistical Tables by Tax Rate and Income Percentile,” at http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxstats/article/0,,id=133521,00.html (October 3, 2011).   WM 3381  Chart 1 • heritage.org