May 03,2011

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Hatch: More Than Half of U.S. Households Did Not Pay Any Income Tax in 2009

WASHINGTON – During a Senate Finance Committee hearing examining the burdens and benefits of distribution within the U.S. tax code today, Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) unveiled a new analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) that found 51 percent of U.S. households did not pay any federal income tax in 2009.

“American taxpayers are skeptical that the answer to our fiscal problems is for them to sacrifice more, when almost half of all households are not paying any income taxes,” said Hatch. “Those who promote higher income tax rates in the name of equality and deficit reduction need to come clean about what this means.  With the income tax base so narrow, meaningful reductions in our deficits would require far more than taxes on the rich.  Those tax increases would squarely hit the middle class, which the President and others have said is off limits. In short, the quest for social equality results in fewer resources and worse outcomes for the nation as a whole and the poor in particular.”

According to JCT 51 percent of all households, which includes filers and non-filers, had either zero, or negative income tax liability for tax year 2009.  The Committee also found that 30 percent of tax units actually made money off the income tax system for the 2009 tax year.