The average tax rates for American households reached a historical low in 2009, according to a report issued by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
Indeed, federal taxes for American households averaged 17.4 percent in 2009, a historical low over the 1979 to 2009 period.
The tax paid by households ranged from 1 percent in poorest fifth of Americans, to 23.2 percent in the wealthiest fifth. The much-talked-about top one percent of the United States paid a 28.9 percent average federal tax rate.
Meanwhile, average before-tax income fell drastically between 2007 and 2009, a clear sign of the recession that struck the United States due to the 2008 financial crisis.
Those with the most income were hit the hardest: the four lowest income quintiles’ before-tax average income dropped by five percent or less. But among the richest 20 percent, before-tax income dropped by 18 percent; in the top one
CBO: Fed tax rates hit historic low - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com