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Good Question: If You’re Not Part Of The 1%, What Percent Are You?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Money and class are a huge part of the national discourse right now. Who is the 20 percent, the 10 percent, the top 1 percent? Where does your family compare to the rest of taxpayers in the United States?

“I would guess I’m probably in the top 20 percent,” said one woman.

Everyone wants to be in touch with the middle class, but there’s not a lot of love for the super-rich.

“I would love to think of myself that way,” said one man in downtown Minneapolis, “I’d love to be in the top one percent!”

But when we looked at the bottom line at the end of your tax return, rich might not be as rich as you thought.

The IRS organizes taxpayers by percentile according to their adjusted gross income. That’s the income after certain deductions (like unreimbursed business expenses, medical expenses, alimony and deductible retirement plan contributions), but before the standard or itemized deductions. Bottom line, AGI is generally lower than simply your salary.

According to the latest IRS data from 2009, filers with an adjusted gross income making more than $112,124 are in the top 10 percent.

“$100,000 is like, might as well be a million, it’s the same abstract money I will never make in a year,” said one man.

The top 5 percent of filers have adjusted gross incomes of at least $154,643.

And what about the 1.4 million tax filers in the top 1 percent?

The IRS puts the top 1 percent of filers at an adjusted gross income of $343,927.

“I’m surprised, would have thought it was a lot more,” said another woman on Nicollet Mall.

If your family has an adjusted gross income of $66,193, you’re in the top 25 percent. And if it’s $32,396 – you’re in the top 50 percent!

If you want to look at your salary, you have to look at the 2010 results from the American Community Survey run by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The top 25 percent make more than $90,000 a year. The top 10 percent make more than $140,000. The top 5 percent make more than $180,000, according to the Census Bureau.

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