David Redszus wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:32 pm
45 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax
Many Americans don’t have to worry about giving Uncle Sam part of their hard-earned
cash for their income taxes this year.
An estimated 45.3 percent of American households — roughly 77.5 million — will pay no
federal individual income tax, according to data for the 2015 tax year from the Tax Policy
Center, a nonpartisan Washington-based research group. (Note that this does not necessarily
mean they won’t owe their states income tax.)
Roughly half pay no federal income tax because they have no taxable income, and the
other roughly half get enough tax breaks to erase their tax liability, explains Roberton
Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.
Despite the fact that rich people paying little in the way of income taxes makes plenty of
headlines, this is the exception to the rule: The top 1 percent of taxpayers pay a higher
effective income tax rate than any other group (around 23 percent, according to a report
released by the Tax Policy Center in 2014) — nearly seven times higher than those
in the bottom 50 percent.
On average, those in the bottom 40 percent of the income spectrum end up getting
money from the government. Meanwhile, the richest 20 percent of Americans, by far,
pay the most in income taxes, forking over nearly 87 percent of all the income tax
collected by Uncle Sam.
The top 1 percent of Americans, who have an average income of more than $2.1 million,
pay 43.6 percent of all the federal individual income tax in the US; the top 0.1 percent —
just 115,000 households, whose average income is more than $9.4 million — pay
more than 20 percent of it.
When it comes to all federal taxes — individual income, payroll, excise, corporate
income and estate taxes — the distributions of who pays what is more spread out.
This is partially because nearly everyone pays excise taxes, which include taxes on
gasoline, alcohol and cigarettes.