Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it's simply somebody else's problem.
About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.
Most people still are required to file returns by the April 15 deadline. The penalty for skipping it is limited to the amount of taxes owed, but it's still almost always better to file: That's the only way to get a refund of all the income taxes withheld by employers.
In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17, according to a separate analysis by the consulting firm Deloitte Tax.
I’m sure part of the increase in the number not having to pay taxes is because of the economic times. People have lost their jobs and had to settle for new jobs not paying as much, or maybe one of the parents lost their full-time job and had to settle with something part time.
There’s also another reason for this larger number:
Tax cuts enacted in the past decade have been generous to wealthy taxpayers, too, making them a target for President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. Less noticed were tax cuts for low- and middle-income families, which were expanded when Obama signed the massive economic recovery package last year.
Wait. I thought Obama raised all our taxes? Isn’t that what the Tea Party has been telling us?
Tea Partyers also seem to have a very distorted view of the direction of federal taxes. They were asked whether they are higher, lower or the same as when Barack Obama was inaugurated last year. More than two-thirds thought that taxes are higher today, and only 4% thought they were lower; the rest said they are the same.
Oh so they were wrong on that one. Imagine that! I’m sure we will hear a big mea culpa from the tea party and wingnuts on this – right? Well just check out Memeorandum and look at how all the sudden people not having to pay taxes is a horrible thing to the wingnuts. Get off message much? For decades they have been the party of lower/no taxes and now they are against that. It’s all a smoke screen to cover up the fact that a big right wing lie has now been exposed. Democrats do lower taxes on the middle and lower income, unlike Republicans.