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We present a multi-layer group sparse coding framework for concurrent single-label image classification and annotation. By leveraging the dependency between image class label and tags, we introduce a multi-layer group sparse structure of the reconstruction coefficients. Such structure fully encodes the mutual dependency between the class label, which describes image content as a whole, and tags, which describe the components of the image content. Therefore we propose a multi-layer group based tag propagation method, which combines the class label and subgroups of instances with similar tag distribution to annotate test images. To make our model more suitable for nonlinear separable features, we also extend our multi-layer group sparse coding in the Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space (RKHS), which further improves performances of image classification and annotation. Moreover, we also integrate our multi-layer group sparse coding with kNN strategy, which greatly improves the computational efficiency. Experimental results on the LabelMe, UIUC-Sports and NUS-WIDE-Object databases show that our method outperforms the baseline methods, and achieves excellent performances in both image classification and annotation tasks.