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Rich Paying Highest Tax Rates in Nearly 30 Years

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Forget about paying their fair share. It looks like the nation’s wealthiest families are paying that and more.

A new analysis from the Tax Policy Center finds the richest American families are paying the highest federal tax levels in decades. In 2013, families with incomes in the top 20% of the country are paying an average of 27.2% of their income in federal taxes. The top 1% of American households, with average incomes of $1.4 million, will pay an average of 35.5% in federal taxes, the Tax Policy Center reports.

These tax rates include income, payroll, corporate and estate taxes and are reportedly among the highest levels since 1979, when the Congressional Budget Office began tracking this data.

The Tax Policy Center reports families with incomes in the bottom 20% of American households don’t pay any federal taxes, because of credits from the government, including the payroll tax.

Even though the report calls attention to the uneven tax burden, David Selig, founder of, says it’s unlikely Washington will backpedal on hiking rates higher.

“I feel a very unfair shift of the tax burden has been put on people who are perceived as not paying their fair share.” He adds that many taxpayers are over-paying in hopes to get their extra cash back at year’s end in the form of returns.

Scott Weiner, senior tax analyst at Thomson Reuters, says that while it’s unclear whether this report will have any impact on lawmakers as they consider raising taxes as a way to rein in the deficit, which currently tops $1 trillion.

“It’s something Republicans will see as a pawn,” Weiner says of the report, “they are saying taxes are already high enough and are getting higher.”

Follow Kate Rogers on Twitter at @KateRogersNews

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