IRS: Small Number of Big Earners Pay Vast Majority of Individual Taxes

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 03:59 PM

By Sharon Churcher

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Taxpayers earning $100,000 or more a year paid nearly 72 percent of individual federal income taxes, according to the latest data from the Internal Revenue Service.

CNSNews.com reports that IRS statistics for 2011 show there were 145,370,240 individual income tax returns filed. Among those returns, 125,914,418 or 86.6 percent belonged to taxpayers earning a salary less than $100,000. The remaining 19,455,822 returns were for people earning more than $100,000.

While those top earners, earning six figures or more, represented only 13.4 percent of the total number of individual returns, they contributed nearly three-fourths of the total amount of federal tax revenue from individual filers reported for that year.

In 2011, the IRS collected $1.1 trillion based on taxpayers' taxable income. From that total, 71.6 percent, or $779.5 billion, came from people earning six figures or more. Only 28.4 percent, or $308.9 billion, came from those earning less than $100,000.

The IRS has been posting this data online since 1996, when the share of the nation's tax burden on six-figure earners was 51 percent.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports the political fight over raising taxes for high-income Americans has faded away, along with "predictions for negative economic fallout."

The magazine contended: "The first boost in marginal income rates in 20 years is already reducing the U.S. budget deficit without tipping the economy into recession."

The federal government is projected to collect more than $3 trillion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, a 9.2 percent increase over last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

CBO forecasts another 9 percent rise in 2015 and estimates that more than half of the increases in revenue stem from tax law changes.

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