Why the Just-Passed Postal Service Reform Act is Such a Big Deal
The legislation gets rid of a manufactured financial burden that has threatened the ability of USPS to provide good jobs and universal service.
Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes data on the collective income of the 400 taxpayers who report the most income on their tax returns.
At the end of December, the IRS released cumulative data for the top 400 for the tax year 2013. The delay in reporting is because tax returns can be audited and amended for three years past the filing deadline.
Mainstream media widely reported that the top 400 paid an effective tax rate of 22.89 percent in 2013, up from 16.72 percent the previous year. This sharp increase in tax rate was the result of this group of elite tax payers booking all of the capital gains and dividends they could push forward into 2012, ahead of a 2013 increase in preferential tax rates from 15 percent in 2012 to 23.9 percent in 2013. As a result, capital gains as a share of income in 2012 was usually high and capital gains as a share of total income in 2013 were artificially low, resulting in more income being taxed at higher rates.
Here are seven additional facts reported by the IRS in its report:
Scott Klinger has been stimulating conversations on the role of corporations in society for more than three decades. An Institute for Policy Studies associate fellow, he has worked from the inside as a portfolio manager in the socially responsible investment industry and a consultant to one of the world’s largest corporations and from the outside as co-director of the Responsible Wealth project of United for a Fair Economy, research director for Corporate Accountability International, and tax policy director for the American Sustainable Business Council. Most recently, Scott was the Director of Revenue and Spending Policies at the Center for Effective Government.