Despite making more than a billion dollars, some of the nation's super rich manage to pay an extremely low tax rate.
The top 400 earners in the U.S. paid an average tax rate of 18 percent, according to a Bloomberg TV report noticed by Think Progress. And though that's a far lower rate than the 26.5 percent that many families making less than $100,000 pay annually in taxes, some of America's super-rich have been able to whittle their tax bill down even more, paying a tax rate as low as one percent, according to Bloomberg.
How? Many of the super rich take advantage of a variety of tax loopholes to lower their tax burden. For some of America's rich, most of their wealth comes from stock appreciation, according to Bloomberg, which some billionaires don't end up defining as taxable income.
These findings echo earlier reports, which suggest that the super rich may not be paying their full share in taxes. More than 1,400 millionaires paid no U.S. income taxes in 2009, according to an August report from the Internal Revenue Service.
In addition, 25 percent of all millionaires pay a smaller percentage of their income taxes than millions of middle class households.
But billionaires aren't the only ones that use loopholes to pay lower taxes. Thirty of America's most profitable corporations used rules like the "active financing exception" -- allowing corporations to sidestep paying taxes on overseas profits if they were derived by "actively financing" some activity or deal -- to pay less than zero in income taxes, according to a recent report from the Center for Tax Justice.
Though many super wealthy Americans and very rich corporations use loopholes to lower their tax burden, some have advocated for raising taxes on themselves. Warren Buffett became the most prominent advocate for raising taxes on the rich when he wrote an op-ed in The New York Times in August encouraging lawmakers to raise taxes on millionaires so that they pay the same or higher rate as middle class earners.
Earlier this week, a band of millionaires went to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress to raise their taxes. And they seem to have the support of millionaires around the country, nearly 70 percent of whom said in a survey last month that they support raising taxes on those making $1 million or more.
What do the one percenters do? Check out the slideshow below: