Monday, September 25, 2006

Action America Analyzes IRS Collections by Income Category (Percentile) for Tax Year 2004

The official IRS Collections Data for 2004 has just become available and Action America has published our annual analysis of that data in an article titled "1986-2004 IRS Collections Data by Income Category (Percentile)."

Interestingly, as in previous years, the latest IRS data shatters the popular illusion that there are so many loopholes in the tax code that the rich don't pay tax In fact, the latest IRS Collections data, broken down by income category or "percentile", conclusively dispels the popular myth that the rich don't pay tax.

Here is just a sample of what's in that data.

• The top-earning 1% of taxpayers earned 19.0% of the income.
• The top-earning 1% of taxpayers paid 36.89% of taxes collected.
• That's roughly double their share, based upon income.

Furthermore, this report shows that the Bush tax cuts didn't benefit the rich, as liberals would have us believe. In fact, the most relevant benchmark of tax load - the ratio of percent of total income earned, to the percent of total tax paid - by the top-earning 1% of income earners, has been higher in each of the years 2001 through 2004, than in any of the prior four years, when that ratio was trending down. Interestingly, the years 2002 and 2003 were the first years since 1996 that the top-earning 1% paid more than double their share of taxes, based upon income. Try to spin that as the media may, such data demonstrates, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that if anything, the Bush tax cuts actually hurt, rather than helped the richest taxpayers.

But there is a lot more to it than just that. Check out the article for more analysis and a link to the actual data, in spreadsheet format, on the IRS web site. Afterwards, come back here and discuss it.

Note: Every year, between September and February, the IRS releases their most recent collections data, sorted by income category or "percentile". Because of the time it takes to complete collections and to compile the data, the released data is always about two years old.