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1 Scott A. Hodge, Record Numbers of People Paying No Income Tax; Over 50 Million Nonpayers Include Families Making over $50,000 1 (2010)

handle is hein.taxfoundation/ffcbexz0001 and id is 1 raw text is: FOUNDATION
March 10, 2010
No. 214

FISCAL
FACT

Record Numbers of People Paying No
Income Tax; Over 50 Million Nonpayers
Include Families Making over $50,000
By Scott A. Hodge
Introduction
Tax Day, April 15, is looming for the nearly 142 million Americans who will file a tax return for
income earned in 2009. While most taxpayers worry about paying the correct amount and even
pay for professional assistance to make sure they do, many millions of tax filers will be
nonpayers.
A nonpaying tax return is one filed by an individual or couple who, thanks to legal credits and
deductions, owes nothing. Most people who get a refund after filing their tax returns are not
nonpayers; they have overpaid their taxes through paycheck withholding and are being refunded
just a tiny portion of that payment.
But during 2008, more than a third of all tax returns resulted in complete nonpayment; that is,
people got back every dollar that was withheld from their paychecks during the year. Many got
quite a bit more, turning Tax Day into a payday.
Two Records Set in 2008: Most Nonpayers and Highest-Earning Nonpayers
Nonpaying status used to be a sure sign of poverty or near-poverty, but Congress and the President
have changed the tax laws to pull much of the middle class into the growing pool of nonpayers.
The income level at which a typical family of four will owe no income taxes has risen rapidly,
now topping $51,000.

Scott Hodge is president of the Tax Foundation.

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