No less an authority than the Internal Revenue Service reports that at least 10,080 households with gross incomes of over $200,000 paid nothing at all in income taxes in 2009. (OK, that doesn’t literally put them all in the top 1 percent, but pretty close.) Those high earners are not (necessarily) breaking any laws—just taking clever advantage of a panoply of tax deductions. They’re also ducking the alternative minimum tax, which, as Bloomberg explains, “was created in 1969 in response to a report that 155 people earned $200,000 and paid nothing in taxes.” The horror.
Vince Beiser, Ten thousand households earning over 200,000 paid no income taxes in 2009.