The Internal Revenue Service earned over $3 trillion in tax revenue in fiscal year 2015. Every year, the agency processes hundreds of millions of tax returns for corporations and individuals across America.
Want a better idea of just how massive the IRS is? Today, we’re looking at some of the most amazing facts behind America’s Internal Revenue Service.
-In 1918, towards the end of the First World War, the IRS assessed a top income tax rate of 77% to help finance the war effort.
-The IRS wasn’t known as the Internal Revenue Service until the 1950s, when the name was changed from the Bureau of Internal Revenue to the Internal Revenue Service we know today.
-The first Form 1040 appeared in 1913, the same year the 16th Amendment was officially ratified in order to charge Americans an income tax.
-America’s first income tax charged a 1% tax on net personal incomes above $3,000, including an additional 6% tax on incomes over $500,000. A 1% tax doesn’t sound bad – especially when you consider 90% of Americans earned less than the $3,000 threshold at this time, which means they paid 0 taxes (Source: IRS.gov)
-America’s first income tax predates the IRS. The first income tax was created by President Lincoln in 1862, who created the tax to help finance the US Civil War. At the same time, President Lincoln created a position called the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Within a few years of the end of the war, America’s first income tax was abolished.
-In fiscal year 2015, the IRS collected 148,840,642 individual income tax returns, as well as 2,216,263 corporation income tax returns. They collected an additional 1,025,498 excise taxes, 237,706 gift taxes, and 36,343 estate taxes.
-A total of 16,158 corporations declared assets of more than $250 million on their corporate returns in fiscal year 2015.
-The top 1% of Americans (in terms of taxable income) earn $465,626 per year on average
-The top 10% of Americans earn $133,445 per year on average
-The average individual refund amount for tax year 2014 was $2,854
-The state with the highest number of returns with an adjusted gross income (AGI) over $1 million was California (65,845 people declaring income over $1 million), while the state with the fewest returns over $1 million was Vermont.
-93.6% of Americans e-filed their taxes in tax year 2014 (Source: IRS.gov)
-The top 1% of Americans pay a larger share of the federal income tax burden than the bottom 90% combined. Specifically, the top 1% of taxpayers paid 35.1% of all income taxes, with an average tax rate of 23.5%.
-The top 1% of America consists of about 1.36 million taxpayers, compared to about 122 million taxpayers in the bottom 90% (Source: TaxFoundation.org)
-In 2013, every income group aside from the top 1% of taxpayers reported a higher income than they did in 2012.
-In 2012, the top 50% of all taxpayers (69.2 million taxpayers) paid 97.2% of all income taxes. The bottom 50% paid the remaining 2.8%.
Ultimately, IRS statistics provide us with interesting insight into how one of the world’s largest tax organizations works.