Everybody thinks they pay too much in taxes to the feds, but nearly half of Americans are paying absolutely nothing.
Approximately 47 percent of households, or 71 million people, owe no federal income tax, according to new research by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.
A number of working Americans even gets money from the government — despite not paying a penny in taxes — because they qualify for income-tax breaks.
The number of non-taxpaying Americans continues to grow. The policy center's first 2009 estimate was 38 percent. That was before passage earlier this year of the $787 billion economic “stimulus,” which included a bevy of expanded tax breaks.
Most households making up to $30,000 pay no federal taxes, and nearly half of all households making between $30,000 and $40,000 pay no taxes either.
The pool of people who don’t pay any federal tax is not just the working poor, though. Close to 22 percent of those making between $50,000 and $75,000 end up with no federal income tax liability or negative liability.
Even 9 percent of households with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 don’t pay a dime to the IRS.
The income tax has for decades been “progressive,” i.e. the rates increase as one’s income increases. "Some think it's too progressive. Some don't think it's progressive enough," Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the center, told CNN.
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