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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"How I Paid Only 1% of My Income in Federal Income Tax"

Eric Schoenberg doesn't have a very large tax burden given his high income, and he says it doesn't take much effort to make this happen:

How I Paid Only 1% of My Income in Federal Income Tax, by Eric Schoenberg: In 2009, the median U.S. family had an income of just under $50,000, on which they would have paid roughly $2,761 (or about 5.5%) in federal income tax. I, by contrast, enjoyed an income of $207,415 in 2009, but paid only $2,173 (or 1.0%) in income tax.


In a recent newspaper interview, I mentioned my absurdly low tax rate to illustrate the extent to which the tax system is biased in favor of the wealthy (my income varies widely from year to year, but is typically north of half a million dollars). My point was that with our country facing frightening budget deficits amid an ever-widening income gap between the rich and everybody else, I consider it both unwise and unfair that a former investment banker like myself pays less in taxes than working Americans with far lower incomes.

Among the dozens of emails I received in response were many from people who assumed that rich people avoid taxes through complicated strategies devised by an army of expensive advisors (many correspondents asked for the name of my accountant). But under our current tax system, the rich don't need high-priced lawyers who exploit obscure loopholes; I wasn't even trying to minimize my taxes (and, in fact, could have paid zero tax if I was). ...

    Posted by on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 12:42 AM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Taxes | Permalink  Comments (83)


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