Data: 45 Percent of Americans Don’t Pay Federal Income Tax


More than 77 million American households won’t pay one red cent in federal individual income taxes this year – half because they’ve got no taxable income, the other half because they get enough tax breaks to wipe out their liability, NEWSMAX reports.

Citing data from the Tax Policy Center, Market Watch reports an estimated 45.3 percent of American households will get off scot-free on April 15 for their federal income taxes – and that surprisingly, people in the top 1 percent of taxpayers, despite the bad rap they get for dodging Uncle Sam, pay a higher effective income tax rate than any other group.

The top 1 percent, who have an average income of more than $2.1 million, pay 43.6 percent of all the federal individual income tax in the United States, Market Watch reports. Read more: NEWSMAX



  1. Although this post is technically true, it is nonetheless deceptive. Most of those who do not not pay “federal income tax”, pay a different tax, namely Social Security/Medicare tax which can run as high as 15.3%. This tax is extremely regressive because it is paid from dollar one of earned income; no exemption apply to this tax.

    The strangest thing is that this tax falls heaviest on the poor, because the Social Security portion of the tax does not apply to earned income in excess of of $117,000.

    Claiming that Social Security tax is not the same as federal income tax is a distinction without a difference. An poor person is equally bereft regardless of whether the federal government is taking with the right hand or the left.

  2. Cyrano. How much are these people that only pay fica getting in programs that you are crying for them? Also u are mistaken. You only pay 15% if you are self employed. Salaried employees pay about 7%. Most of these people not only don’t pay taxes they actually make a lot of money due to tax credits. The whole system is wayyyy messed up!!!

    • I wrote that Social Security/Medicare tax “can run as high as 15.3%”, not that the rate must always be 15.3%. Indeed you are correct that the higher rate applies to self employed persons, but low earning self employed people are more common than you think. Businesses are reluctant to hire employees because of payroll taxes, employment taxes, disability insurance and workman’s compensation costs and yes of late because of Obamacare costs. They get around the regulations by classifying service providers as independent contractors which is considered self employment income.

      But let us consider the case of salaried employees who directly pay FICA/Medicare tax at the lower rate of 7.65%. ( Indirectly, they wind up paying the employer’s portion as well, because the employer’s portion could have gone to the employee instead of the government.) In any event, a married couple filing jointly with no children with earnings from wages in the amount of $20,700 will pay no federal income tax for 2016. However they will pay FICA/Medicare in the amount of $1,583. They are not eligible for any federal subsidies.

      On the other hand, the same married couple earning $35,700 would pay income tax of just $1,500, and no FICA?Medicare tax at all if their income was from investments.

      This inequity is therefore apparent even when com[paring wage earners to investors. The disparity is even greater when comparing self employed persons to investors.

  3. The headline is very misleading. So what do you want? People earning minimum wage or less, working in an abusive dead end burn out job, should have to cut out of that and pay tax when they already cant survive??? Bernie Sanders is the only one addressing this serious problem.

  4. Not only they are not paying federal income taxes, they are receiving IRS cash, such us earned income and child credits. Sometimes it pays to earn less and receive various programs and credits instead. It is by the fascist-socialist design: seduce people into a government dependence, and they will vote for the big government.