The top 400 richest taxpayers raked in $265 million, on average, in adjusted gross income in 2013, according to the Internal Revenue Service. In total, they earned $106 billion, or roughly 1.2% of the nation’s income. Just getting into the top 400 took a pretty penny … or $100 million, actually.
The rest of us earned an average of $61,700.
Another difference between the richest Americans and everyone else — most of their money does not come from their jobs.
Salaries and wages only accounted for a paltry $31 million, on average, of the top 400 taxpayer’s income. The vast majority came from the sale of stocks, homes and other assets, as well as capital gains on stocks and certain dividends.
They deducted an average of nearly $33 million for charitable contributions, or 12% of their income.
While the top 400 taxpayers’ income dropped a bit from the year before, don’t shed a tear. Many wealthy Americans shifted income into 2012 to avoid a slew of tax changes that took effect the following year. Congress and President Obama agreed in late 2012 to raise the rates on high-income earners and on dividends and long-term capital gains.
The top tax bracket rose 39.6% beginning in 2013, but that’s not how much the wealthy actually paid because not all income is taxed at the same rate.
The top 400 paid $61 million each, on average, which works out to an average tax rate of 22.9% in 2013. That’s up from 16.9% a year earlier and the highest rate since 2002. But it’s still lower than the nearly 30% rate of 1995.
In total, the group shelled out $24.3 billion, or 2% of all taxes paid.