According to a report from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the federal government managed to bring in a staggering $1,377,797,136,000 from individual tax filers in 2014.
The huge sum of tax-payer money becomes even more shocking when considering the fact a substantial number of filers paid nothing at all. That’s right. In 2014, out of the 148,606,578 individual tax filers, 52,062,499 paid no net, individual, income taxes. Apparently, these individuals are what the IRS calls “nontaxable returns.” Those who didn’t have to pay income tax made up a large sum of people—roughly 35 percent of the tax filers.
The report also availed that among the 35 percent, 31,129,405 filers collected a cool $90,276,007,000 in payments from the federal government for “refundable,” tax credits. Not only did these people not pay any individual taxes, the federal government sent money to most of them.
More, these taxpayers claimed a total of $105.6 billion in refundable, tax credits. From that, $5.5 billion was applied against income taxes, and another $9.8 billion was used against all sorts of taxes. The leftovers, $90.3 billion, were returned to tax payers in the form of refundable, tax credits. The IRS explains these tax credits are used to offset the pain of taxes. Certain credits are also refundable; this means if the total credit exceeds the actual tax “owed” to the government, the excess can also be refunded.
This all sounds well and good, but what about the 65 percent of Americans who had to pay income taxes in 2014? The report showed they paid an average of $14,271.
As reported, “…there were 54,291,649 tax filers—or about 36.5 percent of all filers—who filed taxable returns with adjusted gross incomes of $50,000 or more. These taxpayers paid total income taxes of $1,300,748,208,000—or 94.4 percent of the $1,377,797,136,000 in total income taxes paid that year.”
It is clear that a minority of the population is paying a majority of the taxes in this country—just 36.5 percent of tax-paying citizens cover 94.4 percent of what the IRS collected in just a single year. So who isn’t paying their fair share?