WASHINGTON (AP) -- A government study says wealthier households benefit significantly more than lower earners from big tax breaks such as deductions for mortgage interest and charitable giving.

The Congressional Budget Office says more than half the benefits of 10 major tax breaks go to the one-fifth of U.S. households at the top of the income scale.

The top 1 percent of earners reap 17 percent of these tax breaks. Those breaks also include preferential treatment of investment income and the deduction for sales and income taxes paid to state and local governments.

Other breaks, such as the per-child tax credit of up to $1,000 and the earned income tax credit claimed by low-income households, generally benefit those in lower income ranges.

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