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How much income tax on the rich?

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

You might assume the highest earners are the least likely to think they should pay high income taxes, especially in light of the headlines exposing rich tax evaders.

Uncle Sam wants your income.The latest confession of cheating came earlier this month from the creator of Beanie Babies. Ty Warner was found guilty of hiding more than $100 million in an offshore account and will pay $53 million in penalties as a result.

But despite the actions of a few wealthy evaders, a survey by Chicago research firm Spectrem Group finds that three out of 10 individuals with net income between $500,000 and $750,000 think Americans should pay between 31 percent and 40 percent in taxes.

While only 2 percent of respondents overall think tax rates should be that high, 14 percent of individuals with the highest incomes -- more than $750,000 -- feel that way.

For 2013, individual filers earning more than $400,000 fall under the highest individual income tax rate of 39.6 percent. The lowest tax bracket is 10 percent and applies to single filers earning up to $8,925.

Three-quarters of respondents believe Americans should pay between 8 percent and 25 percent in income tax. Nearly a quarter of those with net incomes less than $100,000 think taxes should be no higher than 7 percent.

A fifth of Americans believe taxes should be between 8 percent and 10 percent; 25 percent say between 11 percent and 15 percent; and 19 percent say between 16 percent and 20 percent.

What do you believe is the acceptable range of income tax?

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October 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

2012 total receipts to Fed Gov $2.902 Trillion
Outlays = $3.803 Trillion so Deficit = $901.4 Billion

October 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm

well said

October 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Actually, if we went to a transaction tax, the rate could be so low that hardly anyone would even notice it. I know many people that work "under the table" and pay no income taxes at any level. That would be irrelevant if we went to a transaction tax.

October 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Actually, the average working person in this country turns over 50 to 60% of their income in taxes. This includes all taxes (Federal Income Taxes, State, County and City Taxes, Sales Taxes, if you own a home, Property Taxes and so on)! Ever look at your utility bills (and cell phone bills) and ad up the taxes. In Illinois, there are State, County and City Taxes on gasoline (all want their share of the money). So much for the individual trying to get to work? The politicians in this country are sucking the working people dry.

October 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I do believe the Rich should pay more. The LIBERAL Left that is. They should pay 95% of their earnings (after taxes).

October 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Mr. Baker, I'm sure you would be happy to take more from the "rich". But they already pay the lion's share of taxes. How about making the 50% that don't pay any income tax make a small contribution. After all, they are the biggest takers.

Something like a minimum of 10% for the non paying parasites seems more than fair to me. Actually 15% would be more reasonable.

But I'm sure a liberal loon like you would think that's unfair.

October 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I do not have a rate in mind, only the notion that EVERYONE should pay some level of income tax. I too, like the flat tax idea, but based on taxing everything, no deductions or loopholes, so something like 10% may make sense. I suppose they could start the flat tax after a set amount of dollars, to help out really low wage earners, but then we are again left with a group not paying their own way. At a minimum we should get rid of any credits (like EIC) that actually give people back more money than they paid in to the system, so nobody does better than a net zero. I do not like the fact that the government pays entitlements and benefits to a large portion of the population who do not contribute a penny to the overall good. And these are the people who then vote to keep elected officials in place who are keeping unsustainable government hand out programs operating.

L Schenning
October 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Sounds as if this article is completely ignoring state income taxes (not to mention FICA taxes), so the question has different meaning for different people. With a family income of less than $200K we are subject to a 28% federal tax rate and a 7.95% state and local tax rate. Oh, and did I mention that I am self-employed? My FICA tax rate is 15.3%. That means for each dollar I bill my clients more than half is paid immediately in income and FICA taxes. How many readers think this is "acceptable"?

robert baker
October 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

rich get richer and poor get poorer

Carl Audria
October 16, 2013 at 11:56 am

We need to bring down the national debt and after that go to a flat tax like Herman Cain proposed.