Top 1% Took Record Share of US Income Last Year Perhaps because they were cashing in stock ahead of new tax rules By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Sep 10, 2013 4:17 PM CDT 173 comments Comments (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The pay gap between the richest 1% and the rest of America widened to a record last year. The top 1% of earners collected 19.3% of household income in 2012, their largest share in Internal Revenue Service figures going back a century, according to an analysis of IRS figures by University of California, Berkeley economists. US income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. But until last year, the top tier's share of pre-tax income hadn't surpassed the 18.7% it reached in 1927, according to an analysis of IRS figures dating to 1913. The economists write that 2012 incomes of the richest Americans might have surged in part because they cashed in stock holdings to avoid higher capital gains taxes that took effect in January.