October 28, 2021

In Push to Tax the Rich, White House Spotlights Billionaires’ Tax Rates

The analysis, from researchers at the Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisers, is an attempt to bolster Mr. Biden’s claims that billionaires are not paying what they actually should owe in federal taxes, and that the tax code rewards wealth, not work.

“While we have long known that billionaires don’t pay enough in taxes, the lack of transparency in our tax system means that much less is known about the income tax rate that they do pay,” administration officials wrote in a blog post the budget office released accompanying the analysis.

The White House’s calculation of what the wealthiest pay in taxes is well below what other analyses have found. The difference comes from the White House officials’ decision to count the rising value of wealthy Americans’ stock portfolios — which is not taxed on an annual basis — as income. It finds that between 2010 and 2018, those top 400 households, when including the rising value of their wealth, earned a combined $1.8 trillion and paid an estimated $149 billion in federal individual income taxes.

Most measures of tax rates do not use the White House method of counting asset gains as annual income.

The independent Tax Policy Center in Washington estimated this year that in 2015, the highest-earning 1,400 households in the country paid an average effective tax rate of about 24 percent, compared with an average rate of about 14 percent for all taxpayers.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/23/us/politics/biden-wealthy-tax-rates.html

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