It is often said that raising top taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. rates will have little effect on business activity because only 2 percent of taxpayers with business income will be impacted. However, the more economically meaningful statistic is how much overall business income will be taxed at the highest rates. In 2011, the vast majority (70 percent) of pass-through businessA pass-through business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, or S corporation that is not subject to the corporate income tax; instead, this business reports its income on the individual income tax returns of the owners and is taxed at individual income tax rates. income was reported by taxpayers earning more than $200,000. Millionaire tax returns earned 34 percent of all private business income while taxpayers with incomes below $100,000 earned just 14 percent.
For more charts like the one below, see the second edition of our chart book, Putting a Face on America's Tax Returns.Share