Americans Making Over $50,000 a Year Paid 93.3 Percent of All Taxes in 2010

Christopher Goins | April 14, 2012 | 7:07pm EDT
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This handout image provided by the White House shows the front page of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama's tax return. The White House says President Barack Obama and his family paid more than $160,000 in federal taxes last year. The president's 2011 federal income tax return shows reported adjusted gross income of about $790,000 last year. About half of the first family's income is the president's salary. The White House says the rest comes from sales of Obama's books. (AP Photo/White House_

( – Americans making over $50,000 paid most of the federal taxes that were paid in the U.S. in 2010.

According to statistics compiled from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the Tax Foundation, those people making above $50,000 had an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent, and carried 93.3 percent of the total tax burden.

In contrast, Americans making less than $50,000 had an effective tax rate of 3.5 percent and their total share of the tax burden was just 6.7 percent.

Americans making more than $250,000 had an effective tax rate of 23.4 percent and their total share of the tax burden was 45.7 percent.

Out of the 143 million tax returns that were filed with the IRS in 2010, 58 million – or 41 percent – of those filers were non-payers.

In other words, only 85 million actually paid taxes.

But Tax Foundation data also shows that people who didn’t pay any income tax received $105 billion in refundable tax credits from the IRS.

Additionally, statistics from the Tax Foundation shows that the federal tax code is 3.8 million words long – 3.5 times longer than all seven books of J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter series combined.

According to, the total word count of all seven Harry Potter books is 1,083,594 words with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone being the shortest (76,944 words) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the longest (257,045).

In contrast, the federal tax code is 3.8 million words, almost a tripling of its size since 2001 when the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the tax code to be 1,395,000, and almost doubling its size since the Tax Foundation's estimates in 2001.

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