Some Tax Day trivia: The super rich are paying a far lower tax rate than they did 20 years ago, and nearly half of all US households—including both rich and poor—pay no taxes at all. People with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes paid nearly $345 million in taxes in 2007, the most recent year figures are available. Their average federal income tax rate was 17%, down from 26% in 1992, reports AP. During that same period, the average tax rate for all taxpayers dipped to 9.3% from 9.9%.
Though the top income tax rate is 35%, myriad tax breaks shave that bite. "It's the fact that we are using the tax code both to collect revenue, which is its primary purpose, and to deliver these spending benefits that we run into the situation where so many people are paying no taxes,"said an expert with the think tank Tax Policy Center in DC. More than half of the nation's tax revenue came from the top 10% of earners in 2007, and more than 44% came from the top 5%.