Social Security benefits increase in 2012
Homeowner tax breaks, take 'em while you got 'em

Earnings ranking elaboration

I love it when a blog reader's question coincides with a story I'm working on so that research for one benefits the other.

That's the case with a question from Pam about yesterday's post asking where do your earnings rank?

Pam, I share your surprise, dismay, wonder, pick an adjective about my own income and just where it came in on the earnings scale.

As for your question about whether the calculation is the same for joint filing households, the answer is yes.

The calculator uses Internal Revenue Service data to compute where earners land on the income spectrum.

And the IRS earnings threshold for the top 1 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent, 25 percent or 50 percent categories are based on adjusted gross income (AGI) per return, not per taxpayer.

1 percentThat means a single filer who makes $343,927 in AGI or more is in the top 1 percentile. And a married couple with combined AGI of $343,927 or more also is among the country's top earners.

As for the other percentile income thresholds, hang in there a few more days and my story will be done.

The per return income amount seems a bit counter intuitive, at least to me. My reaction is like yours: Jointly filing married taxpayers should be able to earn moire money before landing in an upper echelon of taxpayers.

But then, no one ever said taxes or the IRS operate in an easily discernible manner.

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