But the picture changes dramatically once other federal taxes are included. When all federal taxes are taken into account, even the lowest fifth of households (with average incomes of about $18,000) pay 4 percent of income in federal taxes, while the second-lowest fifth (average income: $43,000) pay 11 percent. . . .
State and local tax systems are typically quite regressive, meaning that low-income families pay more of their income in taxes than higher-income families. When state and local taxes are taken into account along with federal taxes, the poorest fifth of households pays about 15 percent of income in taxes; the next fifth pays about 21 percent.