Mark Perry had a great post regarding all things tax related. Some highlights:
There were only four pages in the original 1040 form, including: two pages of worksheets, the actual one-page 1040 form above, and only one page of instructions,view all four pages here. In contrast, just the current 1040 instructions for 2016, without any forms, runs 106 pages.
Individual federal income tax rates started at 1% in 1913, and the maximum marginal income tax rate was only 7% on incomes above $500,000 (more than $12 million in today’s dollars)…
The amount of time spent for income tax compliance – 6.1 billion hours – would be the equivalent of more than 3 million Americans working full-time, year-round (or 2.1% of total US payrolls of 145.9 million). By way of comparison, the federal government currently employs 2.8 million full-time workers, and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest private employer, currently employs 2.2 million workers worldwide and 1.3 million workers in the US (both full-time and part-time)….
TaxProgressivity. And just how progressive is the US federal income tax system? Very, very progressive, see the chart above showing average effective tax rates by various income groups in 2014 (most recent year available).
In 2014, the top 1% earned 20.6% of the total income reported to the IRS and paid 39.4% of all federal income taxes collected ($543 billion). The bottom 95% of US taxpayers earned 64% of total income (almost three times as much as the top 1%) and paid only 40.5% of the total income taxes collected ($550 billion). So once again, to the 1.395 million taxpayers in the top 1%, I say “Thank You” for paying almost as much in federal income taxes in 2013 as the 132.6 million taxpayers in the bottom 95% by income.