As we gear up to bid a fond farewell to 2012, let’s look at the things that made the year so great for our billionaires. Starting with David Cray Johnson’s: The Fortunate 400
Six American families paid no federal income taxes in 2009 while making something on the order of $200 million each. This is one of many stunning revelations in new IRS data that deserves a thorough airing in this year’s election campaign.
and move on to the lowly 7000 millionaires that skipped out on their tax bill
The chart below from the Tax Policy Center shows the distribution of federal income taxes paid by income level in 2011.
It contains a number of interesting factoids, including the following:
- 7,000 people made more than $1 million but paid no income tax.
- 22,000 people made between $500,000 and $1 million but paid no income tax.
- 81,000 people made between $200,000 and $500,000 but paid no income tax.
- 381,000 people made between $100,000 and $200,000 but paid no income tax.
So that’s 491,000 Americans who made more than $100,000 a year who paid no income tax.
And finally, those magnificent chimeras: Corporations. Not quite business, not quite human, but all around better than you.
CTJ looked at 280 companies, all of them members of the Fortune 500, and found that “while the federal corporate tax code ostensibly requires big corporations to pay a 35 percent corporate income tax rate, on average, the 280 corporations in our study paid only about half that amount.” And those who paid even half the statutory corporate tax rate paid far more than many of their competitors.
In fact, in the last three years, 78 corporations had at least one year where they paid no federal income tax at all, while 30 corporations paid not a dime over the entire three years. Those 30 corporations paid nothing, even though they made $160 billion in profits over that period