“By now you’ve no doubt heard Mitt Romney’s thoughts about the “47 percent” of Americans “who pay no income tax.” But are you one of them? You might be if you are…
The 47 percent aren’t all moochers. In 2011, 3,000 taxpayers earning more than $2.2 million paid no federal income tax. How’d they manage that? High earners have a wealth of tricks for minimizing their tax bills, including writing off losses, foreign investments, and giving to charity.
… Just Pretty Wealthy
More than 20,000 taxpayers with gross income of more than $200,000 paid no income tax in 2009, according to IRS data (PDF). Overall, the rate of wealthy Americans who pay no income tax has been growing.
… Working Hard
About three-fifths of the 47 percent are working and making less than $20,000 a year. However, they still pay payroll taxes (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment) and spend an average of 12.3 percent of their incomes on state and local taxes.
… Living in a Red State
Eight of the ten states with the highest percentage of non-filers are solidly red. The Washington Post’s Dylan Matthews predicts that Romney will grab “95 electoral votes from the ‘taker’ states.” (However, most of the non-payers in those states are likely Democrats.)…”