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Those who pay no federal income tax
What Romney said » "Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax."
Romney’s about on target — 46 percent of U.S. households paid no federal income tax last year, according to a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Most do pay other federal taxes, including Medicare and Social Security withholding. And they’re not all poor. Some middle-income and wealthy families escape income tax because of deductions, credits and investment tax preferences.
Why they don’t pay:
About half don’t earn enough money for a household of their size to owe income tax. For example, a family of four earning less than $26,400 would owe no taxes using the standard exemptions and deductions.
About 22 percent » Get tax breaks for senior citizens that offset their income.
About 15 percent » Get tax breaks for the working poor or low-income parents.
Almost 3 percent » Get tax breaks for college tuition or other education expenses.
Who they are:
The vast majority have below-average earnings: Among all who don’t owe, 9 out of 10 make $50,000 or less.
But some of the wealthy escape taxes, including about 4,000 households earning more than $1 million a year.
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