|(18 Mar 2016)
Assertions and questions about alleged income disparity as well as reports of Americans' stagnant wages have become important aspects of this year's election debate.
You can do your own fact-check on such issues using the free Taxpayer Returns application on the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) website. This unique tool lets you examine the kinds of income flowing to taxpayers in every state and the more than 3,000 counties in the United States.
The tool, now updated with the latest data for filing year 2014 but extending back to 1991, is based on authoritative Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data culled from federal income tax returns. Use it to examine a range of topics -- average wages and salaries, interest income, dividend received, exemptions claimed, and the total figure the IRS calls the adjusted gross income (AGI) -- on a county, state or nationwide basis.
For example, the average interest income of $658 reported in 2014 is the lowest such amount in the last 24 years. On the other hand, Connecticut is once again the state with the highest average wages and salaries, as it has been every single year since 1991.
Not simply a large collection of tax data, the Taxpayer Returns application gives everyone a way to independently answer an almost unending array of possible U.S. income questions.
To access TRAC's Taxpayer Returns tool, go to:
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TRAC is self-supporting and depends on foundation grants, individual contributions and subscription fees for the funding needed to obtain, analyze and publish the data we collect on the activities of the US Federal government. To help support TRAC's ongoing efforts, go to: