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Who Doesn't Pay Federal Taxes? A Peek at the Numbers

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By Lisa Mahapatra

Only 14 percent of U.S. residents pay neither income tax nor payroll taxes, and most of them are elderly or make less than $20,000 in annual income, according to a new report from the Tax Policy Center.

The number of people who pay both federal income tax and payroll tax increased from 53.1 percent in 2011 to 56.7 percent in 2012. This is likely due to an improving economy and the expiration of temporary recession tax cuts, according to the Tax Policy Center report.

Twenty-nine percent don't pay federal income tax but do pay payroll tax. Even the 14 percent who pay neither payroll tax nor income tax do pay Social Security, state and local taxes or some other tax, the report said.

And the remaining 1 percent mostly benefit from the tax code's many exclusions, deductions, exemptions and credits that wipe out the income tax they would otherwise owe, according to the report.

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when I worked they took my tax money.union dues.fica ss etc.with a shovel.now retired they give it back with a spoon.

September 10 2013 at 7:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

article seems to presume paying taxes with our money is the highest good? is it?

September 08 2013 at 6:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Look to the 5 billion tax benefits the oil companies receive thanks to the GOP. Exxon-Mobile paid no incomes taxes last year and received a check from the irs of 187 million dollars. Do we call this fair? The GOP does. Look at all the billions the oil companies made in profits. Our tax system has a lot to clean up and this is one of them. On social security and medicare, thank a democrat.

September 08 2013 at 3:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment

Go ahead and tax the big companies all you want. Who will pay for the decrease in profits.. YOU...DA

September 08 2013 at 4:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Corporate America pollutes our air, water, land with its chemicals, coal dust, nuclear waste, trash, fuel consumption, water consumption, oil spills, and much more, yet fails to pay its share of taxes to clean up the mess it makes. The cost falls squarely on the individual taxpayer, and this folks is one reason why we have to close down school programs, put up with poor streets, drive on unsafe bridges, etc.

Wake up America, Wake UP..

September 08 2013 at 2:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

We are shrinking our government just when we should be increasing it. Our population has grown from about 100,000,000 to 318,000,000 in the last 50 or 60 years; our need for roads, airports, sea ports, protections, etc., has grown proportionately, yet we still tend to believe that our governments should do with 1950 tools and labor force, it just does not work that way and our infrastructure is falling apart around our ears as we cut, cut, cut.

Corporate America Uses 99% of all the infrastructure for its purpose of making profits, it should be paying far more than the 1% to 17.5 % it is currently paying.

September 08 2013 at 2:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Just about everyone pays taxes, but think of what you are getting today because of it, look at what your taxes provide, yes I can agree the tax system needs alot of change to it especially in the amount citizens are paying verses there income but those who expect a free handout just because they live in America need to get their head examined.

September 08 2013 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Retirement income, coming from whatever source, i.e. Social Security, IRA or Pension should be tax free. This change should be part of a serious overhaul of our tax code that increasingly favors people in the higher earnings brackets.

September 07 2013 at 11:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The biggest loser: The poor middle class homeowner who has to pay high Federal and State taxes and then is crucified with never ending increases in their Real Estate taxes and gets no Federal and State aid to help their kids pay for college and health care.

September 07 2013 at 11:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

But what you do not tell is the hugh tax returns for people that pay no income tax with the child credit, unearned income credit, etc.
And it is paid to illegals that claim children not living in this country.

September 07 2013 at 10:52 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SisterGeriA's comment

You work for the IRS, that is how you KNOW this for a FACT... NO, then you don't know,do you?

Most getting child credit are singles that are widowed, divorced, or just knocked up by some guy that fled the state.

The EIC, earned income credit is for those that ARE WORKING, but due to the Company worked for, are not making enough to survive in the area in which he or she lives.

September 07 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What everyone is missing is the Birth Rate, currently in the U.S.A. at 64 births per 1,000 population per year. We had a 'Baby Boom' that saw a high number of births during and immediately after WWII, and this boom in people are now all seniors in their late 60's or early 70's. The trend when the women decided to go into the marketplace in the 1970 - 1990 period was to have far less babies, only enough to replace oneself or the couple having the kids. Thus, we now have shortage of wage earners in their 40's and 50's paying taxes and helping the seniors with SS.

This will start to straighten out in the next 10 or so years as the boom of seniors die off and the workers again outnumber the retired.

September 07 2013 at 9:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mac2jr's comment

What about the millions of babies aborted each year???

September 07 2013 at 10:54 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SisterGeriA's comment

What about them?

September 07 2013 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down