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To Get Into the 1%, You Need Adjusted Gross Income of $480,930

  • 5.8 million returns claim tax-exempt interest, down from peak
  • Almost half of tax-exempt interest went to top filers
The white gloved hand of a uniformed chauffeur / doorman opening / closing a luxury car door.
Photographer: greenp/E+

What does it take to get into the 1 percent? The price of admission is an adjusted gross income -- basically, what you make before deductions -- of $480,930.

That’s according to the latest Winter 2018 edition of the Internal Revenue Service’s Statistics of Income Bulletin, which shows that the number of that elite group hit about 1.4 million in 2015, continuing its steady growth since 2009. Back then, you could have gotten into this bunch with an AGI of $350,000, its Great Recession low, but it’s been climbing ever since.