Who Pays What?

Taxpapers

In a continuing effort to provide information as we listen to the budget and debt debates out of Washington D.C., outlined here are some IRS statistics on who pays individual income taxes. The information provided here is the most current available information.

Income

% of Income

Share of
Income Tax Paid

Average
Tax Rate

Top 1%

18.9%

37.4%

23.4%

Top 5%

33.8%

59.1%

20.6%

Top 10%

45.2%

70.6%

18.5%

Top 25%

67.6%

87.1%

15.2%

Top 50%

88.3%

97.6%

13.0%

Bottom 50%

11.7%

2.4%

2.4%

All Taxpayers

100%

100%

11.8%

How to read:The top 10% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on 2010 tax returns reported approximately 45.2% of the income and paid 70.6% of the total individual income tax collected in 2010.1

Observations:

The top 1% of income paid 37.4% of the federal individual income taxes with 18.9% of the reported income.
The largest gap between income representation and amount of tax paid is in the top 10%. The top 10% of reported income have approximately 45.2% of claimed income, and pay approximately 70.6% of the individual income taxes.
The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46.4% of households paid no federal income tax for 2011.

Note: The above figures net out “negative” income tax returns for those who filed a tax return, but due to adjustments and credits have negative adjusted gross income.