The IRS puts out an interesting tax document each year, looking at the returns of the nations wealthiest 400 people. The most recent year of complete data is 2007, when 143 million individuals filed tax returns.
Some of the data is quite astonishing:
• The top 400 paid 2.05% of all individual income taxes in 2007.
• Average tax rate of the 400 = 16.6% — the lowest since the IRS began tracking the 400 in 1992.
• Minimum annual income to make the top 400 = $138.8 million.
• Top 400 reported $137.9 billion in income; they paid $22.9 billion in federal income taxes.
• 81.3% of income was from capital gains, dividends or interest. Salaries and wages? Just 6.5%.
• The top 400 list changes from year to year: 1992-2007, it contained 3,472 different taxpayers (out of a maximum 6400).
Happy tax day to one and all. Actually, Boston has extended the tax date to May 11, 2010 because Suffolk County was classified as a flood area.
The 400 Individual Income Tax Returns Reporting the Highest Adjusted Gross Incomes Each Year, 1992-2007
A Look at the Tax Returns of the Top 400 Taxpayers
WSJ, FEBRUARY 17, 2010