IRS: Nearly 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009


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Of an already small pool of millionaires and billionaires, 1,470 didn’t pay any federal income taxes in 2009, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Just over 0.1% of taxpayers -- or 8,274 out of 140 million total -- made more than $10 million in 2009, according to the agency. More than 235,000 taxpayers earned $1 million or more, according to a recent report from the agency.


But of the high earners who avoided paying income taxes, many did so due to heavy charity donations or foreign investments.

About 46% of all American households won’t pay federal income tax in 2011, many due to low income, tax credits for child care and exemptions, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

In the meantime, during what many are now suggesting may have been the first part of a double-dip recession, the IRS said nearly 2 million people dropped out of the taxpaying pool.

Rising layoffs are partly to blame. Nearly 11.3 million taxpayers collected unemployment benefits in 2009. The amount of benefits paid out nearly doubled to $83 million.

Adjusted gross income fell $636.4 billion, or 7.7%, from 2008 to 2009, while the average American income slipped more than 6% to $54,283. More than 97% of returns reported earnings of less than $200,000.

Even gambling returns slipped, down nearly 13% to about $24 million.



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