The IRS has released data on high income taxpayers (and non-taxpayers…) that shows more people than ever are avoiding paying their share. According to the data, the number of high-income filers that paid no federal income taxes in 2002 increased by 15 percent over the previous year. Overall, 5,650 tax returns with incomes over $200,000 paid ZERO taxes. A total of 83,000 of these high income filers paid less than 10 percent in taxes–less than the averge for all filers.
An interesting side note to the data. The number of tax returns reporting incomes greater than $200,000 peaked in 2000 with 2.8 million tax filers. In 2002, there were 340,000 fewer of these high-income returns.
The Nontaxpaying Affluent Grew by 15% in One Year – New York Times
The number of affluent individuals and married couples who paid no federal income taxes jumped more than 15 percent in 2002, to 5,650, new government data showed yesterday.
The chances of having a large income but not paying taxes on any of it are growing, according to the data, issued in the Internal Revenue Service’s annual report to Congress on well-to-do Americans who live tax free. About one in every 436 high-income Americans paid no taxes in 2002, up from one in 531 in 2001 and one in 1,010 in 2000.
Over all, the top 2 percent of earners, the 2.5 million filers with income of $200,000 or more, paid almost 27 cents in taxes for each dollar of income they reported in 2002, other I.R.S. data showed. This group accounted for 53.5 percent of the income tax paid by all Americans.
Among that high-income group, however, almost 83,000, or one in 33, paid less than a dime in taxes for every dollar of income. An additional 79,000 paid less than 15 cents. The average for all Americans was 13 cents.