Almost Half of American Households Won’t Pay Any Federal Income Tax for 2009

Posted on April 7, 2010


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As April 15, tax deadline day, approaches, and you’re hunched either over your own computer, or over your accountant’s desk, would you be surprised to find out that almost half of the households in America won’t be paying any federal income tax for 2009?  Yes, as you sweat out the number crunching, wondering  just how large a check you’ll be writing to Uncle Sam, half of your fellow citizens aren’t stressing at all.  From U.S. Today:

About 47% will pay no federal income taxes for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That’s according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17, according to a separate analysis by the consulting firm Deloitte Tax.

Tax cuts enacted in the past decade have been generous to wealthy taxpayers, too, making them a target for President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. Less noticed were tax cuts for low- and middle-income families, which were expanded when Obama signed the massive economic recovery package last year.

The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the U.S. from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10% of earners households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 paid about 73% of the income taxes collected by the federal government. (emphasis mine)

So almost three quarters of the income taxes collected by the federal government are from the top 10% of earners.  Think about that for a second.  And the next time you hear some Democrat chanting that the rich need to pay their “fair share,” stop and remember that the rich already are paying their fair share, and then some.

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Posted in: Government, Taxes