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Top 400 U.S. Households Paid 18% Average Tax Rate in 2010

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The top 400 taxpayers in the U.S. paid an average tax rate of 18 percent in 2010, the lowest since 2007, according to Internal Revenue Service data released today.

The wealthiest taxpayers earn a majority of their money from capital gains, which are taxed at preferential rates, letting them pay effective rates far below the 35 percent marginal income tax rate that year.