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Your Take: Why Half of Americans Pay No Income Tax

Posted By Jim On 05/04/2012 @ 7:05 am In Your Take | 109 Comments

After talking about how half of Americans don’t pay any income tax, CNN took a quick look at the reasons why [3]. They don’t go into greater detail but basically they pointed to all the various tax benefits available. The Tax Policy Center said that for 2011, 46% of households ended up owing nothing in federal taxes, up from 40% before the recession. When you think about it, the standard deduction [4] is $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for married filing jointly. Additionally, you get a $3,700 exemption for each person in your household. A family of four would get $14,800 in exemptions plus a $11,900 deduction for $26,700 in income exempt from tax. The poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,350.

That said, the reality is that $23,700 is not a lot for a family of four to survive on. That’s less than $2,000 a month for four people. While I understand the need for fairness, I don’t think our society benefits from taxing folks who may be barely scraping buy. That said, our world isn’t fair but I’d like it to be stable, so as someone who makes more than $26,700, I’m happy paying taxes. I’m happy paying more than the average amount in taxes even if I believe the government is using it inefficiently.

What do you think about all this?


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[3] why: http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/26/pf/taxes/income-tax/index.htm

[4] standard deduction: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/standard-deduction.html

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