Al Jazeera: Top Incomes Soared as Tax Rates Fell, by David Cay Johnston (Syracuse):
For those at the very top 2010 will be remembered as a very good year. While most Americans struggled to recover from the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, top incomes soared while tax burdens for those incomes fell.
The 400 tax returns for those with the highest reported incomes showed 31 percent more income in 2010 than in 2009, when the recession officially ended at midyear. Soaring stock prices fueled the increase at the top. On average incomes of $265.1 million the top 400 paid 18 percent in federal income taxes, down from 19.9 percent in 2009. The lowest tax on the top 400 was 16.6 percent in 2007.
Bloomberg: Top 400 U.S. Households Paid 18% Average Tax Rate in 2010, by Richard Rubin:
The top 400 taxpayers in the U.S. paid an average tax rate of 18 percent in 2010, the lowest since 2007, according to Internal Revenue Service data released today. ...
The data show the highest-income U.S. households rebounding from the recession in 2009. The minimum adjusted gross income needed for the exclusive list rose 28 percent, to $99.1 million, and the average income of those on the list reached $265 million.
The IRS data offer a glimpse into the finances of the wealthiest U.S. households, who now receive more than twice the share of national income than they did in 1995. These taxpayers had 1.31 percent of all adjusted gross income in the U.S. in 2010 and paid 2.01 percent of the income taxes, though they make up less than 0.001 percent of the population, according to the IRS.
IRS Statistics of Income Division, The 400 Individual Income Tax Returns Reporting the Largest Adjusted Gross Incomes Each Year, 1992–2010:
Shown below are four tables that contain information from the 400 individual income tax returns with the highest adjusted gross incomes (AGIs), for years 1992 through 2010. Statistics for 2010 are included for the first time. It is important to note that the group of taxpayers whose returns are among those with the highest AGIs changes from year to year. Statistics on the persistence of taxpayers in that group are provided in Table 4.
Table 1 contains frequencies, money amounts, and average dollar amounts for the major income, deduction, and tax credits reported as part of the Form 1040 (U.S. individual Income Tax Return). It includes salaries and wages, interest income and capital gains. It also shows net income and net losses for returns with income from (1) businesses including farms, and (2) partnerships and S corporations. Itemized deductions categories include taxes paid, interest paid and charitable contributions. In addition, the table presents several credit items including the foreign tax and general business credits, as well as data for the tentative research credit.
Wall Street Journal, A Peek at the Highest Earners’ Tax Returns