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Taxing Income of Top Wealth Holders

Kevin B. Moore, Sarah J. Pack, and John Sabelhaus

Abstract:

Increasing wealth concentration in recent decades has generated renewed interest in the ability of the tax system to offset rising inequality. Income tax data show that average effective tax rates have declined relatively more at the very top of the income distribution. However, effective tax rates by taxable income alone do not tell the whole story about the taxation of top wealth holders. In this paper we use the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) from 1998 through 2013 to study trends in effective taxation across the entire distribution of families, with a particular focus on the very top of the distribution.

Citation

Kevin B. Moore, Sarah J. Pack, and John Sabelhaus (2016), Taxing Income of Top Wealth Holders, National Tax Journal, 69:4, pp. 965-980

DOI: doi.org/10.17310/ntj.2016.4.11