It’s a rapidly growing group: Americans who earn more than $200,000 a year but pay no income taxes
On this tax day, when you might think taxpayers everywhere are cursing their payments to the government, one group is feeling quite proud: high-income earners who pay no taxes.
We have heard, of course, about the low-income nonpayers. Opponents of taxes and government, in describing the excessive tax burdens of the wealthy, often cite IRS figures showing that the top 1% earn 22% of the nation’s income and pay 38% of the nation’s federal income taxes, while 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes.
Yet there are plenty of high earners who also pay no taxes. They are called “HINTs” — High-earners, no taxes. They are the personal-income versions of General Electric, and their numbers are rising rapidly.Article Continues Below
According to an article by Tom Herman in The Fiscal Times, more than 10,000 Americans who earned more than $200,000 in 2007 paid no income taxes to the U.S. government.
The number of HINTs paying no state income taxes also is surging. In California, 2,430 upper-income households paid no state income taxes in 2008, according to this San Diego Union-Tribune article. The households amount to less than 1% of the total of top earners, but their numbers have jumped from 579 non-payers in 1997. (Only 4% of top earners paid the state’s official top rate of more than 9% in 2008, and yet the top 1% of earners still paid more than 40% of the state’s income taxes.)
In New York, another supposedly high-tax state, 1,573 resident taxpayers with income more than $250,000 didn’t pay any state income tax in 2008, according to the state’s budget office.