Friday, January 30, 2009

US' Top 400 Taxpayers, and more on Geithner

From TaxProf:

"The IRS yesterday released data on the Top 400 tax returns for 1992-2006, which show a marked increase in the average amount of AGI and investment income (taxable interest, dividends, and net capital gains) reported by the Top 400 taxpayers over this 15-year period, along with a startling decrease in their average tax rate:"

See small graphs here and here, which show a decline in the tax rate from 26.4% to 17.2%.

How much did this select group earn? From Forbes:

"The 400 highest-earning taxpayers in the U.S. reported a record $105 billion in total adjusted gross income in 2006."

And here's something else from TaxProf today, an interesting twist :

"Congressman John Carter (R-TX) yesterday introduced H.R. 735, The Rangel Rule Act of 2009, which would add new Code § 7529 to prohibit the IRS from charging penalties and interest on back taxes. From the press release:

Under the proposed law, any taxpayer who wrote “Rangel Rule” on their return when paying back taxes would be immune from penalties and interest.

“We must show the American people that Congress is following the same law, and the same legal process as we expect them to follow,” says Carter. “That has not been done in the ongoing case against Chairman Rangel, nor in the instance of our new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. If we don’t hold our highest elected officials to the same standards as regular working folks, we owe it to our constituents to change those standards so everyone is abiding by the same law. Americans believe in blind justice, which shows no favoritism to the wealthy or powerful.”"

Which makes Geithner's appointment, which we blogged recently, even more problematic.


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