August 30th, 2019.

A recent report suggests that almost one in three of the top 1% of UK income taxpayers are business owners, even though they account for only one in five of the workforce overall.

Partnership profit shares and dividends suffer national insurance contributions at lower rates than salaries, although partners pay income tax on more than they earn. The report suggests an increase in partnership tax – that partners in firms should pay more NIC: we think that would be a mistake and ignores other issues.

The title of the recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies ‘The characteristics and incomes of the top 1%’ has ensured high levels of public interest. That’s hardly surprising. After all, people are genuinely interested in what share of the nation’s taxable income is received by the top 1% of adults (the answer is 12%) and the share of income tax that they pay (the answer is 27%).

The IFS analyses the income of the top 1% of income taxpayers in 2014-15 as follows:

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