Saturday, November 26, 2011

Billionaires pay less than 1% in taxes

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The top 400 earners in the U.S. pay an average tax rate of 18 percent, according to a Bloomberg TV report.
Though that's a far lower rate than the 26.5 percent that many families making less than $100,000 pay annually in taxes, some of America's super-rich have been able to whittle their tax bill down even more, paying a tax rate as low as one percent, according to Bloomberg.
Many of the super rich take advantage of a variety of tax loopholes to lower their tax burden. For some of America's rich, most of their wealth comes from stock appreciation, according to Bloomberg, which some billionaires don't end up defining as taxable income.
These findings echo earlier reports, which suggest that the super rich may not be paying their full share in taxes. More than 1,400 millionaires paid no U.S. income taxes in 2009, according to an August report from the Internal Revenue Service.
In addition, 25 percent of all millionaires pay a smaller percentage of their income taxes than millions of middle class households.
But billionaires aren't the only ones that use loopholes to pay lower taxes. Thirty of America's most profitable corporations used rules like the "active financing exception" -- allowing corporations to sidestep paying taxes on overseas profits if they were derived by "actively financing" some activity or deal -- to pay less than zero in income taxes, according to a recent report from the Center for Tax Justice. Huffington Post
The U.S. debt deal reached in August did not include a tax increase on the rich due to the opposition of Republicans in Congress. Reuters
280 most profitable U.S. corporations sheltered half their profits from taxes between 2008 and 2010. Citizens for Tax Justice
The U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama approved an $858 billion tax deal in December 2010 that critics say would add to the budget deficit. Obama Stimulus Benefits
The tax law extended tax rates for all income groups, including the wealthiest top 2 percent. Reuters

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