IRS News Releases  
IR-2009-17 March 3, 2009

IRS Issues Winter 2009 Statistics Of Income Bulletin

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today released the winter 2009 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin, which features information on 138.4 million individual income tax returns filed for tax year 2006. Of those returns, about 93 million, or 67 percent, were taxable, which means that the taxpayer reported total income tax greater than zero. The total number of taxable returns in tax year 2006 was up 2.4 percent from 2005.

Adjusted gross income on these 93 million returns totaled more than $7.4 trillion, which was up 8.5 percent from 2005. Total income tax on these returns totaled approximately $1 trillion, up 9.5 percent from 2005. (Adjusted gross income is total income, as defined by the tax code, less statutory adjustments - primarily business, investment or certain other deductions.)

The average tax rate for taxable returns was 13.8 percent, an increase of approximately 0.2 percentage points from 2005.

Taxpayers in the top 1 percent of adjusted gross income reported adjusted gross income of at least $388,806 in tax year 2006. This group accounted for 22.1 percent of all adjusted gross income for 2006, up 0.9 percentage points from the prior year. This group also accounted for 39.9 percent of the total income tax reported, an increase from 39.4 percent in 2005.

Taxpayers in the top 5 percent of adjusted gross income reported adjusted gross income of at least $153,542. This group accounted for 36.7 percent of adjusted gross income and 60.1 percent of total income tax.

The Bulletin also includes articles on the following:

  • Split-interest trusts reported $12.2 billion in total net income in filing year 2007, an increase of 22.1 percent since 2006. Total accumulations, including ordinary income, short-term and long-term capital gains, and nontaxable income, also increased, from $66.3 billion in filing year 2006 to $73.1 billion in 2007.
  • Charitable and other tax-exempt organizations reported more than $10 billion in gross unrelated business income for tax year 2005. Between 2004 and 2005, total unrelated business income tax liability increased by 49 percent to $543.3 million.
  • Foreign persons received $378.4 billion in U.S. source income during tax year 2005 and $333.2 billion of that amount, or 88.0 percent, was exempt from withholding taxes. For tax year 2005, interest payments accounted for 56 percent ($211.8 billion) of total income paid to foreign recipients.
  • Taxpayers will file 240 million federal tax returns and supplemental documents for calendar year 2009, according to projections from the IRS Office of Research. This number, which includes individual, corporation, partnership and estate tax returns, as well as extension of time to file applications and amended returns, among others, represents a decrease of 4.3 percent from estimated return filings of 250.8 million for 2008. The Office of Research also estimates that the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 increased 2008 filings of Form 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ returns by approximately 14.4 million returns over baseline projections for that year. No projections are available for filings that may occur as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
  • The final article in the Bulletin examines allocation, the identification and movement of taxpayer-reported data items to other more specific items or categories. This is one of many statistical processes that the Statistics of Income (SOI) Division applies to U.S.corporate income tax returns selected for the SOI sample. For tax year 2005, the total amount allocated was more than $10.5 trillion.

The Statistics of Income Bulletin is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The annual subscription rate is $53 ($74.20 foreign), single issues cost $39 ($48.75 foreign).

For more information about these data, write to the Director, Statistics of Income (SOI) Division, RAS:S, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 2608, Washington, DC 20013-2608; call Statistical Information Services at (202) 874-0410; or send a fax to (202) 874-0964. These are not toll-free numbers.

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