April 15 is just one week away. Have you filed your tax return yet? The IRS estimates that over 247 million federal income tax returns will be filed this year. That means that in addition to collecting revenue, the IRS also collects massive amounts of economic data.
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a research organization at Syracuse University, uses IRS data to compile rankings of various types of income by state and county. The results are often surprising. For example, it may surprise you to learn that in 2013, Wyoming had a higher average dividend income than any other state. In Wyoming’s Teton County, the average dividend income was $32,793, nearly twenty times higher than the national average. (Teton County, with a population of just over ten thousand, is home to Harrison Ford, Dick Cheney, and Walmart heiress Christy Walton, the richest woman in the world.) The state with the highest average adjusted gross income (AGI) was Connecticut, at $91,417. That’s quite a contrast to the average AGI of just $15,379 in Gooding County, Idaho. Other categories of data analyzed by TRAC include wages and salaries, interest income, and exemptions.
In addition to IRS data, TRAC also reports on other aspects of government, including law enforcement, immigration, and the judiciary. For more information, visit the “About Us” page on the organization’s website.