Who pays tax in America? Of individual (1040 returns) taxpayers, the distribution of taxes is interesting (2009 returns):

Distribution of Taxes

Top percentile of taxpayers

Percent of Federal

Income Taxes Paid

(2009 returns)

Minimum Adjusted Gross Income at this level
99th percentile36.7%$343,927
95th percentile58.7%$154,643
90th percentile70.5%$112,124
On the other end of the spectrum, the bottom 50% of taxpayers….Paid 2.25% of the total

Federal tax bill

What does this mean? The top 10% of American earners pay 70% of the taxes, while the bottom 50% of earners pay only 2.25% of taxes. Is this fair?  The answer depends upon who’s doing the talking.  In light of conversations in Congress regarding raising taxes on the wealthy, I thought this was worth sharing.

This information is available in a number of spots – I am using the Kiplinger Tax Letter, Vo. 86, No. 21 (October 14, 2011) as my source material.

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