Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The Tax Foundation today published Countdown to Tax Reform, Part III: Who Pays Income Taxes in America? as part of a series in anticipation of the expected November 1 release of the report of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, Here is a taste:
What are the characteristics of those who pay federal income taxes in America today? As noted in Part II, the vast majority of taxpayers who face the highest marginal tax rates tend to be married couples. But aside from being married, they also tend to be dual-income, live in high-cost urban areas, are older, college educated, and are engaged in business activities. Each of these characteristics makes them more likely to be exposed to the highest marginal tax rates....
In 1967, less than half of all working couples were dual-income. Today, nearly 7 out of 10 working couples are dual-income. Between 1980 and 2003, the number of dual-income working couples grew by nearly 8 million, or 31%, from 29.5 million to 33.2 million....
...[D]ual-income couples are largely found in upper-income groups, as standard income distribution tables such as Table 1 shows. More than 73% of dual-income couples are in the top two income groups (quintiles). Indeed, 41% earn enough to be among the top 20% of taxpayers. While dual-income couples comprise just 25% of all taxpayers, they comprise nearly 45% of the fourth quintile and nearly 62% of the top quintile.
Dual-Income Couples Are Statistically "Rich"
Share of TPs
% of Dual-Incomes
$0 - $14,280
$14,281 - $25,756
$25,757 - $42.617
$42,618 - $71,027
For prior TaxProf Blog coverage of other pieces in the series, see:
- Countdown to Tax Reform: Ten Core Principles of Tax Policy
- Countdown to Tax Reform I: Not Your Father's Middle Class
- Countdown to Tax Reform II: Taxpayers and Non-Payers