Ben Franklin once said the only thing certain in life is death and taxes. Although he said this during the 1700’s, it feels truer today for a lot of us than any other time in history. Death is the case for all of us, but what if we told you that taxes affect some people more than others? This happens to be the case with federal income taxes.
A resounding 45% percent of Americans paid no federal income taxes this past year. 45%! That is roughly 77.5 million Americans. To put that in perspective, President Obama won 65 million votes to become President in 2012. More people do not pay federal income taxes than voted for the President-elect of the United States.
At first, it is easy to feel anger towards the people who do not pay their taxes, but we must understand that it is no fault of their own. First, James Quinn at Investment Watch wrote, “When 40% of the working age population doesn’t work and another 10% only hold part-time jobs, they aren’t paying any Federal Income taxes.” Secondly, sometimes people are not aware that they must pay because of our complex tax code.
The current federal tax code is 74,608 pages long which allow for situations like this to arise. To put this in perspective, Britain’s tax code is 17,000 pages long and that is considered to be an alarming statistic by British citizens.
We can’t be mad at people for not paying federal income taxes but rather we should direct our concern towards lawmakers. If our economy had better paying and more secure jobs, and serious tax reform was implemented on a federal level then it would help to alleviate problems in our federal tax system.