An interesting look into F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tax returns (he wasn’t as spendy as people think).
The publication of This Side of Paradise when he was 23 immediately put Fitzgerald’s income in the top 2 percent of American taxpayers. Thereafter, for most of his working life, he earned about $24,000 a year, which put him in the top 1 percent of those filing returns. Today, a taxpayer would have to earn at least $500,000 to be in the top 1 percent. The 1920 census reported the American population as 106,021,537. That year only roughly 7 percent of the population—7,259,944—even filed tax returns. Today, about 45 percent of the population files returns: 134,000,000 returns out of a population of 300,000,000.