Turns out the IRS publishes exactly how many. In 2016, the most recent year for which information is available, the IRS estimated there were 16,087 tax returns claiming income of $10 million or more.
The vast majority of those returns are for married people filing jointly and for households, so those returns represent more than 16,087 Americans. But that’s nowhere near even 1% of the 150,272,157 total tax returns filed that year.
The total income reported on these top returns was $482,067,421,000. So about 16,000 returns representing about half a trillion dollars of income. They paid a combined $121 billion in taxes.
For comparison, 11.7 million returns reported between $75,000 and $100,000 in income. They combined to pay $108 billion in income tax.
A small number of the top earners — 555 of them — even took the standard deduction!