- Days left

Pop Quiz: Who Are the 47%, and What Do They Really Pay in Taxes?

×
Mitt RomneyEarlier this week, Mother Jones released a tape in which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized the estimated 47% of Americans who don't pay federal income tax. While Romney's comments may have cost him some political points, they also re-energized a long-running public debate over who pays into America's system, and who reaps its rewards. With that in mind, we compiled a short quiz about the taxation system. If you think you know how America's taxation works -- or just want to learn a little more -- take a peek!


Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.



Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Video: Who Qualifies for an Affordable Care Act Exemption (Obamacare)?

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. But, who qualifies for an Affordable Care Act exemption? Find out more about who qualifies for an exemption from the Affordable Care Act tax penalty, how to claim an exemption on your tax return and how the Affordable Care Act may affect your taxes with this video from TurboTax.

Video: How to Claim the Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit (Obamacare)

The Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit is a new refundable tax credit that can lower your monthly health insurance premiums. If you qualify for the tax credit, you can claim the Premium Tax Credit throughout the year to lower your monthly health insurance premiums, or claim the credit with your tax return to either lower your overall tax bill or increase your tax refund.

Deducting Summer Camps and Daycare with the Child and Dependent Care Credit

If you paid a daycare center, babysitter, summer camp, or other care provider to care for a qualifying child under age 13 or a disabled dependent of any age, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses of $3,000 for one child or dependent, or up to $6,000 for two or more children or dependents.

What Is Schedule H: Household Employment Taxes

If you hire people to do work around your house on a regular basis, they might be considered household employees. Being an employer comes with some responsibilities for paying and reporting employment taxes, which includes filing a Schedule H with your federal tax return. But even if you have household employees, filing Schedule H is required only if the total wages you pay them is more than certain threshold amounts specified by federal tax law.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

185 Comments

Filter by:
yigal

I have a plan to solve the fiscal crisis, 1. abolish all personal income taxes and build your government income of sale's tax. 2.Divide sales taxe to 3 parts: a.Necessities. b.Semi luxury c.Luxury 3. Tax necessities at 3%, Semi luxury at 15% Luxury 50% and hiher.
In 2010 the wealthy 1 percent earned about 1.3 trillion dollars annually, the rest of the people (99%) earned 9.4 trillion dollars. Income tax from the wealthy was about $300,000,000. and the rest of the population about $940,000,000., or total income taxes from individual earners for 2010 was approximately $1,240,000,000.
Total sales during 2010 were about $14,000,000,000. An average sale tax of 8.8% is needed to equal the amount of government’s income tax collected.
My prediction is that with the above system the average collected tax will be close to 15% or $1,500,000,000 dollars, enough to support the annual budget and reduce the deficit in a very short time.

October 20 2012 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jbluhm1951

All the swing states that show the President ahead in the polls are ran by Republican governors who are doing a better job within their states compared to those states who have Democrat governors. Why is the President getting the credit that Republican governors are ahead of. Beats me. In those states who have Democrat governors the race is much closer. Figure that out. People who are doing well are ok with things as they are and for the rest of the country they are not. Those swing states' polls must be ones where mostly Democrats are polled based on 2008 polls. Romney will end up winning these swing states and he will be the President of the United States. Forget the polls and vote for the best leader, that is Governor Romney.

September 26 2012 at 5:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jbluhm1951

Those people who say they are part of the 47% need jobs. President Obama is not about creating jobs, if he was he would not have filled his health care plan with so many taxes and penalties that will hurt businesses, especially small business. The President knows exactly where he wishes to take the country and its not where I want to go or see my children live with less freedom than I have enjoyed. Many polls expecially are showing how many points President Obama is ahead of Governor Obama in Ohio, Florida, and Virginia. I cannot believe people from Ohio will support this President again. Ohio people are intelligent and the polls I do not believe. The samples they are using is the 2008 models I believe. The disaster overall economy, the terrible things happening in the Middle East demands we have a leader who can and who will lead. Right now we do not have that leader. His record is terrible, and past performance is usually an indication of future performance. The biggest reason not to vote for this President is because of his social views. Morals are falling fast in this country and without at least a moral leader in the White House who represents more of a Christian nation than a Mul. nation this country is in more trouble.

September 26 2012 at 4:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jbluhm1951

All this 47% attacks are to take people's eyes off the economy. President Obama blames everything on President Bush and even all the money the Obama adminstration has spend the past four years. Take the economy, his stance of support for countries who are not our allies, his abortion and gay marriage stance, the debt he has ran up, the tax filled health care plan people will be hit with, the manipulation of the truth on all kinds of subject, his foreign affairs failures, How he has hadled what happen to our ambassor and the other Americans. How people in Ohio or any of the swing states could support the President is impossible to understand.

September 26 2012 at 4:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
gmydogbud

The Politicans, MUST REMOVE - THE SOCIAL SECURITY - MEDICARE - MONEY - FROM - THE - GENERAL - FUND & RETURN - IT - TO - THE - SOCIAL - SECURITY - FUND - ! - ! They also MUST - RETURN - A- L - L -- THE - MONEY - THEY - BORROWED - STOLE - FROM - THE - SOCIAL - SECURITY - FUND - WITH - INTREST - ! - ! They also - MUST - PUT - ALL - THEIR - ILLGOTTEN - GAINS - FROM - THEIR - INSIDER - TRADING - INTO - THE - SOCIAL - SECURITY - FUND - & - THEY - MUST - DO - IT - NOW - ! - ! THEY - MUST - STOP - GIVING - MONEY - THEY - BORROW - FROM - CHINA - TO - COUNTRIES - & - PEOPLE - WHO - HATE - US - & - NOT - ONLY - WANT - US - DEAD - BUT - HAVE - KILLED - FOUR - AMERICANS - ON - WHAT - IS - AMERICAN - SOIL - ON - 09 - 11 - 2012 - !! NOT - ENOUGH - MONEY - FOR - AMERICAN - CITIZENS - ===== - NO - MONEY - FOR - OTHER - COUNTRIES - !!!!ALSO - SINCE - MRS - CLINTON - HAS - PROVEN - TO - BE - SO - GOOD - WITH - MONEY - HAVING - TURNED - TEN - THOUSAND - DOLLARS - INTO - ONE - MILLION - IN - NOTHING - FLAT - PERHAPS - SHE - COULD / WOULD - ADVISE - THOSE - IN - HER - PARTY -TO - DO - LIKEWISE - & - REDUCE - THE - NATIONAL - DEBT - & - NOT - ON - THE - BACKS - OF - THE - AMERICAN - TAX - PAYERS - !!!!

The last go around the now President Obama told us about the the SHOVEL - READY - J - O - B - S - He - Had - READY - TO - GO - & - THEN - WHEN - ASKED - ABOUT - THEM - HE - LAUGHED - !!! LOOKS - LIKE - THE - JOKE - HAS - BEEN - ON - THOSE - WHO - TRUSTED - HE - WOULD - KEEP - HIS - WORD - WHY - HE - EVEN - PROVED - TO - US - THAT - HE - COULD - SPELL - THE - WORD -JOBS - !! DOES - ANYONE - REMEMBER - THAT - ? Don't know if American Citizens will be so trusting this go round!!!

September 25 2012 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hemipristis

elmok719, that's because they cannot defend the indefensible (and unsustainable), so they misdirect and change the subject, in an attempt to confuse, obfuscate and gin up envy for the rich and sympathy for The PoorTM

September 24 2012 at 7:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
hemipristis

Woody, are you actually expecting us to believe that you pay more taxes than a corporation making "billions"? Seriously? Um, no.

September 24 2012 at 6:57 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
hemipristis

Woody, you can't be serious. You, personally, pay more than corporations that make billions? Um, no.

September 24 2012 at 6:56 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
hemipristis

Woody, you can't be serious. You, personally, pay more than corporations that make billions? Um, no.

September 24 2012 at 6:55 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
hemipristis

Maybe, just maybe, people are waking up.

Cloward-Piven strategy. Those who are not familiar with this, please google it. It is the intention of the Far Left to make as many people dependent upon the gummint as possible, with as few putting in as possible. This keeps them in power. And it's all about power.

September 24 2012 at 6:54 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply