We retired Tax Justice Blog in April 2017. For new content on issues related to tax justice, go to www.justtaxesblog.org
Two new analyses from Citizens for Tax Justice demonstrate that the richest Americans still are not shouldering a disproportionate share of taxes and that the poor are still not avoiding them, despite stories that are commonly told every year around Tax Day.
The first is Who Pays Taxes in America in 2013?, a fact sheet we release each year. It examines all the taxes paid by Americans (all federal, state and local taxes) and finds that people in all income groups do pay taxes (despite claims to the contrary by Mitt Romney and others) and that the tax system overall is just barely progressive.
The second analysis is our six-page report called New Tax Laws in Effect in 2013 Have Modest Progressive Impact. This goes into more detail and explains that the tax code has not changed in 2013 despite recent headlines about unprecedented taxes on the rich.
For example, Americans in all income groups are paying more than they would pay if Congress had just extended the tax laws in effect in 2012, but the share of taxes paid by the top one percent has risen only slightly. The richest one percent, who will receive 21.9 percent of America’s income in 2013, will pay 24 percent of all the taxes in 2013. If, instead of enacting the “fiscal cliff” deal that allowed some tax cuts for the rich to expire, Congress had just extended the 2012 tax laws, then the richest one percent would pay 23.1 percent of all the taxes in 2013.
In other words, the “fiscal cliff” deal made our tax system slightly – not dramatically –more progressive.