Saturday, February 18, 2012
New York Times, Working All Day For the IRS, by James B. Stewart:
I thought Mr. Romney’s 13.9% federal tax rate would be hard to beat. But among the 400 Americans with the highest adjusted gross incomes in 2008, 30 of them paid less than 10% and another 101 paid less than 15%. ... The top 400 paid an average of $49 million, or 18.1% of their AGI, in federal tax — lower than taxpayers in the $200,000 to $500,000 bracket. They reported an average $14.1 million in state and local taxes, bringing their total income tax level to about 23% of AGI, far below my rate. And not one of them paid more than 35% of their AGI in federal tax. ...
I’ve never minded paying my taxes. I’ve always been proud of it. But when people making hundreds of millions a year are paying a substantially lower rate than I and the many people who wrote to me do, something has gone haywire.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage of the Top 400 taxpayers:
- The Top 400 Taxpayers, 1992-2006: Income Up, Tax Rate Down (Jan. 30, 2009)
- IRS Releases 2007 Tax Return Data on Wealthiest 400 Americans: Income Soared 31% (to $345m), Tax Rate Fell 3.2% (to 16.6%) (Feb. 18, 2010)
- More Tax Return Data on the Richest 400 Americans (Feb. 24, 2010)
- The Top 400 Taxpayers: Incomes Fell 21.5%, Tax Rates Rose 8.2% in 2008 (May 11, 2011)
- Johnston: Beyond the 1 Percent (Oct. 26, 2011)
- The 99% and the 1%: Income Mobility and Income Inequality (Nov. 7, 2011)
(Hat Tip: Bill Turnier.)