40% of Us Don’t Pay Any Federal Income Tax

40% of Us Don’t Pay Any Federal Income Tax

January 26, 2024

Understanding the factors and implications to our nation’s tax system

 


A new analysis by the Tax Policy Center (TPC) indicates a significant decline in the number of American households that will not pay federal income taxes in 2022. According to the TPC, an estimated 72.5 million households, or 40% of the total, will not pay any federal income taxes for the tax year 2022.

This marks a considerable decrease from the 59.3% in 2020 and 56% in 2021, both years dominated by COVID-19 related shutdowns and restrictions.

Factors Contributing to the Decline

Economic Recovery: The decline in the number of households not paying federal income taxes can be partly attributed to the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. With businesses reopening and restrictions easing, more people have returned to work, resulting in higher incomes and increased tax revenues.

Expiration of COVID-19 Relief Measures: The high number of households not paying federal income taxes in 2020 and 2021 can be traced back to pandemic-related relief measures, such as stimulus payments and expanded unemployment benefits. As these measures have expired, many households have seen their incomes rise, moving them back into the tax-paying bracket.

 

 


Changes in Tax Policies: Shifts in tax policies, including adjustments to tax brackets, deductions, and credits, have also contributed to the decline in the number of households not paying federal income taxes. The TPC analysis takes into account these changes, which may have impacted the tax liabilities of millions of households.

Implications of the Decline

Increased Tax Revenues: The decline in the number of households not paying federal income taxes translates into higher tax revenues for the federal government. This additional revenue can help fund essential public services, reduce the federal deficit, and support further economic growth.

Income Inequality: The decrease in the percentage of households not paying federal income taxes may also reflect changes in income distribution. As more households move into the tax-paying bracket, it could signal a narrowing of income inequality, which has been a long-standing concern in the United States. However, further analysis is needed to confirm this trend.

Economic Stability: A broader tax base, with more households contributing to federal income taxes, may lead to a more stable economy.

 

 

As more people participate in the workforce and pay taxes, the government will have access to a more predictable and sustainable revenue stream, which can contribute to overall economic stability.

Monitor the Trends

The Tax Policy Center's analysis shows a significant decline in the number of American households not paying federal income taxes in 2022.

Several factors contribute to this trend and it will be crucial for policymakers to closely monitor these trends to ensure that the nation's tax system remains equitable and effective.

 

Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by FMeX.

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