Number of High-Income Americans Who Paid No Income Tax Doubled in One Year

Friday, June 17, 2011
The IRS has reported that the number of taxpayers earning more than $200,000 annually who owed no income taxes nearly doubled from 2007 to 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
There were 4,375,660 individual income tax returns reporting in 2008 an adjusted gross income of $200,000 or more, and 4,416,986 returns with expanded income of $200,000 or more. “Expanded income” includes long-term capital gains, tax-exempt interest and nontaxable Social Security benefits. These returns represented just over 3% each of all returns for that year.
In 2008, there were about 180 fewer returns that showed adjusted gross income greater than $200,000 compared to 2007. Still, the 18,783 high-earners who avoided taxes represent less than one half of one percent of Americans with annual incomes of more than $200,000.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
High-Income Tax Returns for 2008 (by Justin Bryan, IRS) (pdf)


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