Nearly 50 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax

Michael Santo's picture

Although the saying is that "nothing is certain but death and taxes," for some in the United States even taxes are not certain. According to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization, about 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes for 2009.

The Tax Policy Center is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

Of course, it's not that these folks escape all taxes. They will pay sales tax, local or state income taxes, property taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and more. It is, however, an interesting statistic.

According to a separate study done by consulting firm Deloitte Tax, it's possible, in fact, for a family of four (including two under-17 children) to make $50,000 and still owe no income tax. These are a result of increased tax credits for low- and middle-income families.

Despite complaints over taxation, and cries about tax increases, tax cuts for low- and middle-income families were expanded when Obama signed the economic recovery package last year. This has resulted in the figures above.

However, taxpayers aren't necessarily exempt from filing federal income tax returns by April 15th. If you don't owe anything, that's the only way to get a refund of income taxes withheld by employers.

Written by Michael Santo

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