Washington sweetened this break in recent years. Through 2012, the rich can take the full value of these itemized deductions regardless of their income.
Some 96% of those making between $200,000 and $1 million itemized their deductions on their 2009 return, rather than taking the standard deduction of $5,700 for single taxpayers or $11,400 for married couples. Meanwhile, only 37% of those making between $40,000 and $50,000 itemized their deductions.
Of those making $200,000 to $1 million, some 90% claimed a charitable tax deduction on their 2009 return, according to the IRS. Their contributions were just over $9,000 on average. Some 79% of these folks took a deduction for home mortgage interest, with the average deduction coming in at $21,350.
But only 28% of those making between $40,000 and $50,000 took a charitable deduction for donations, with the average contribution less than $2,400. Some 28% deducted their home mortgage interest, with the average deduction working out to just under $8,800.
More than a third of Americans lived in households receiving government assistance in mid-2010.
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