Under the tax bill passed Wednesday by both houses of Congress, 35.1 percent of the individual tax cuts in 1982 would go to 5.6 percent of the population -- those making $5.,000 or more a year.
The share going to the top 0.2 percent of taxpayers -- those making $200,000 or more -- would be 10.4 percent, according to figures compiled by the Joint Committee on Taxation. This translates into $3.58 billion of the $34.6 billion 1982 cut going to the top 162,000 taxpayers out of a total of 77.2 million.
For the average taxpayer in the range of $20,000 to $30,000, this would mean a break of $398 in 1982; the average reduction for those in the $30,000-to-$50,000 range would be $751. For the taxpayers receiving above $200,000, this would mean an average cut of $22,129.
At the bottom end of the scale, there are 31.7 million filers who make $15,000 a year or less; this group, 41 percent of the total, would get 8.5 percent of the 1982 cut, according to the committee. The average reduction for those making $10,000 to $15,000 would be $147 in 1982.
The administration and Republican sponsors of the legislation have supported this apportionment on two grounds: that it distributes tax cuts in proportion to the amount of taxes paid by income groups, and that by granting large cuts to the wealthy, savings and investment in economically productive activities will grow rapidly.
In this respect, the legislation represents a rejection of policies implicit in many past tax bills of using the legislation to increase the progressivity of the distribution of income.
Instead, the GOP argument is that, by taking a gamble on supply-side economics, the general improvement resulting from a tax bill granting sifnificant benefits to the well-to-do will, in the long run, result in an improvement in the quality of life for everyone. Liberal Democrats contend this policy as it has been translated into the individual rate cuts in the tax bill amounts to a return to the "trickle down" economics of the 1920s.
Republicans point out that the 5.6 percent of taxpayers making more than $50,000 pay 33.8 percent of the taxes. The 0.2 percent of those making more than $200,000 pay 7.4 percent of total taxes.
The joint committee's figures do not include a child-care provision that was included in the Senate bill, but is not in the House version.
In addition, the distributional tables do not reflect a variety of other provisions that do not irectly alter income-tax tables, including major breaks for oil producers and royalty holders, the near elimination of the estate tax, and exemptions for charitable contributions.
If the House-Senate conference committee that is expected to start work on the legislation today approves the child-care credit, it is likely to benefit those in the lower and middle-income brackets. Most of the other provisions would result in additional beneits for those with high incomes.
The legislation calls for individual rate cuts totaling 25 percent over three years. In a series of hypothetical examples for 1984, the joint committee found that under the legislation a one-earner couple getting $5,000 in wages would get no tax reduction; at $10,000 the reduction would be $83; at $20,000 $464; at $30,000, $914; at $40,000. $1,438; and at $50,000, $2,158.
For a two-earner couple, these benefits would grow because of the reduction in the so-called marriage penalty. In the upper-income brackets, the difference would not be significiant, but for a two-earner couple making $10,000 the break would be $702 instead of the $83 for a one-earner couple.
For those with income from investments and savings -- known as unearned or property income -- the break under the legislation would be far more significant because of the drop in the maximum rate on this form of income from 70 percent to 50 percent. For a one-earner family with $100,000 in property income, the brak in 1982 would be $6,478. At $200,000, the break would grow to $17,514, and at $500,000 it would be a cut of $62,204.