The richest people fail to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes they owe the government, according to a United States (US) Department of the Treasury report released on Wednesday (8/9).

The report said that last year about one percent of the top rich taxpayers had defaulted on about $163 billion in taxes, which amounted to about 28 percent of the total of $600 billion in unpaid taxes.

Meanwhile about five percent of the top group of taxpayers defaulted on $307 billion, or 53 percent of the total.

The Treasury Department called the $600 billion in unpaid taxes a "striking" amount equivalent to about three percent of the country's nearly $23 trillion annual economic output. This is equal to all the taxes paid by the lowest 90 percent of American taxpayers.

Furthermore, according to the same report, the wealthy in the US account for the lion's share of tax avoidance because they have the financial resources to hire accountants and tax advisors "that help protect them from incurring their actual income tax liability."

It also said that wealthy taxpayers often had "vague" sources of income from business partnerships, property holdings and rental income.

By contrast, most of America's working class pays federal income taxes that are withheld directly from their paychecks and passed on to the government by their employers.

Older Posts