Washington (Oct. 28, 2002) -- The top 1 percent of tax filers paid 37.42 percent of federal personal income taxes in 2000, an increase from the 1999 level of 36.18 percent, according to new Internal Revenue Service data.

The top 50 percent of earners paid 96.09 percent of the tax revenue, while the bottom 50 percent paid a 3.91 percent share. These figures were virtually unchanged from the 1999 levels.

"These IRS data reflect the steeply progressive impact of the federal income tax," said Rep. Jim Saxton, chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. "Unfortunately, statistics portraying tax policy changes as skewed often are released without disclosing the share of taxes actually paid by various income groups," he said.

"The bottom line is that these data are needed for an informed discussion of a wide array of tax policy issues. The tax shares already paid by various income groups largely determine the distributional outcomes of most major tax proposals, not the tax rate structure of the legislation itself, " Saxton concluded.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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