Top Income Shares, Business Profits, and Effective Tax Rates in Contemporary Chile
Jorratt De Luis, Michel
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We contribute to research on inequality and world top incomes by presenting the first calculations of Chilean top income shares and effective tax rates using individual tax return microdata from 2005 and 2009. We pay special attention to business income, which dominates at the top. Our analysis includes not only distributed profits, but also the large proportion of accrued profits retained by firms, which are rarely analyzed given the difficulty of identifying individual owners. Our most conservative top 1 percent income‐share estimate is 15 percent—the fifth highest in the top incomes literature. When distributed profits are adjusted for evasion, the top 1 percent share reaches 22–26 percent. When we broaden the income concept to include accrued profits, which we impute to taxpayers using ownership shares calculated from business tax forms, the top 1 percent share increases to a minimum of 23 percent. Despite this impressive income concentration, the top 1 percent pays modest average effective income‐tax rates of 15–16 percent.