NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Taxes, Taxpayers Increase In The Six-Figure Income Group

June 28, 2000

One taxpayer in 15 made more than $100,000 in 1998 -- counting married couples filing jointly as one taxpayer -- says the Internal Revenue Service.

  • The $100,000 or over earnings category hit 8.3 million in 1998 -- jumping 15 percent from 7.2 million the previous year.
  • The share of income going to those making $100,000 or more increased to 36.9 percent in 1998 from 34.2 percent in 1997.
  • But the 6.6 percent of taxpayers in that income category paid 58 percent of all income taxes in 1998.

Showing the impact of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, the taxes paid by these prosperous Americans rose 30.4 percent as more of their income was subject to the 31 percent, 36 percent and 39.6 percent rates.

And some 828,000 taxpayers found themselves subjected to the Alternative Minimum Tax in 1998 -- an increase of 40 percent over the previous year. Because it is not indexed for inflation, the minimum tax now reaches so far down the economic ladder that it can sometimes tax a single parent making $28,000 a year.

Source: David Cay Johnston, "I.R.S. Figures Show Spread of Prosperity," New York Times, June 28, 2000.

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