The Internal Revenue Service announced this week that the spring 2011 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin is now available. The issue features information on high-income individual tax returns filed for tax year 2008.

There were almost 4.4 million high-income returns filed for 2008 or about 3.1 percent of all returns filed in 2008. It does represent about a one percent decrease from 2007. The IRS classifies these returns as those having more than $200,000 in income.

Meanwhile, for people on the other end of the income spectrum, the IRS has awarded $10 million in matching grants to Low Income Taxpayer Clinics for the 2011 grant cycle.

These clinics are organizations that represent low-income taxpayers in federal tax controversies with the IRS for free or a nominal charge and/or provide tax education and outreach for taxpayers who speak English as a second language.

Just in case you missed this, the IRS awarded $10 million in grants to these LITCs, but who do you think funds the IRS? You're right! The taxpayer.

Did you know that also in 2008, the number of people who reported incomes of at least $200,000 and paid no U.S. taxes jumped 79.5 percent in 2008 from 2007? According to the IRS, this is only 0.429 percent of the high-income returns.

So, as we have over 18,000 people, earning more than $200,000 a year, and paying no income tax, the IRS is handing out grants to represent and educate the low income earners. I certainly don't always agree that certain programs should be available for free or reduced cost, but I also think that if the IRS is going to hand out money in the forms of grants then all taxpayers should be paying into the program.

If you would like your own tax class or want to pay the IRS less taxes next year, make sure you schedule some time with a Liberty Tax® representative. We work for you, not for the IRS.

-david rocci

Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.