May 11, 2011
The Top 400 Taxpayers: Incomes Fell 21.5%, Tax Rates Rose 8.2% in 2008The IRS's Statistics of Income Division has released The 400 Individual Income Tax Returns Reporting the Highest Adjusted Gross Incomes Each Year, 1992-2008. Among the interesting aspects of the data for the Top 400 taxpayers:
- The Top 400's average AGI fell 21.5%, to $270.5m (down from $344.8m in 2007)
- The Top 400 received 1.31% of all AGI (down from 1.57% in 2007)
- The Top 400's average net capital gain fell 32.7%, to $153.7m (down from $228.6m in 2007)
- The Top 400 received 13.1% of all net capital gains (up from 10.1% in 2007)
- The Top 400's average charitable deduction fell 20.4%, to $22.7m (down from $28.5m in 2007)
- The Top 400 made 5.2% of all charitable deductions (down from 5.7% in 2007)
- The Top 400's average federal income tax fell 14.6%, to $49.0m (down from $57.3m in 2007)
- The Top 400 paid 1.9% of all federal income taxes (down from 2.1% in 2007)
- The Top 400's average AMT increased 47.5%, to $3.2m (up from $2.1m in 2007)
- The Top 400 paid 1.8% of all AMT (up from 1.3% in 2007)
- The Top 400's average tax rate increased 8.2%, to 18.11% (up from 16.62% in 2007)
- Bloomberg, Income Fell 21.5% in 2008 for Top Taxpayers
- Forbes, Richest 400 Took Record Share Of Capital Gains During Market Meltdown Year
- The Hill, Top Earners Saw 2008 Income Drop
- Wall Street Journal, IRS Data Show How Top Taxpayers Fared During Recession
- WSJ Washington Wire, The Rich Also Took a Hit in ’08
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The IRS yesterday published "The 400 Individual Income Tax Returns Reporting the Highest Adjusted Gross Incomes Each Year, 1992-2008." The... [Read More]
Tracked on May 12, 2011 8:41:32 AM
The interesting question would be how many of the top 400 in 1996 were in the top 400 in any other year. Why can't we know the answer?
Posted by: DLN | May 11, 2011 2:16:10 PM
@DLN -- the last page of the linked document sheds some light on that.
Posted by: Ah yes | May 12, 2011 8:18:22 AM
Is anyone other than myself appalled that the top 400 have an avg tax rate of 18%?
Posted by: Chris | May 12, 2011 8:46:25 AM
Chris, if you are reading this site, I suspect you must know why many of us are not appalled. If you sample the annual income of any tax payer, on any given year, income of this size (token from a distributional perspective) is almost mall explained by classifying as income the realization of accumulated long-term capital gains. Are you appalled that capital gains (which are not indexed by inflation, which captures excess net profitability after taxation, and which represent capture many years' worth of work -- yes, money works) are taxed at a preferential rate? Does it make you feel better that every time we lower this rate, we collect more taxes to spend on entitlement programs and we make tax collections more progressive?
Posted by: MG | May 12, 2011 9:48:17 AM