# How Does This Math Work?

CNS News posted an article today detailing which Americans pay our taxes under the current tax code. Please follow the link to article and read all of the statistics. It is amazing that America has prospered at all under this warped tax code.

The article reports:

Of the 150,493,263 filers who submitted individual income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service for the 2015 tax year, only 99,040,729 paid any income tax at all.

Together, those Americans paid a record \$1,457,891,441,000 in total income taxes — for an average of \$14,720 per taxpayer.

The other 51,452,534 — or about 34.2 percent of all filers — did not pay a penny. Their average income tax payment was \$0.

This is a fundamental divide in the American tax system. On one side are those who do pay taxes; on the other, those who don’t.

It gets worse:

So who paid the taxes the federal government needed to send that \$89,614,669,000 to those 30,417,609 who paid no income tax?

One major contributor was a group the IRS calls “married persons filing jointly.”

In 2015, according to Table 1.2 in the IRS report, 54,294,820 belonged to this group — with 41,551,043 joining the side that did pay taxes, and 12,743,777 joining the side that did not.

Thus, while 34.2 percent of all filers paid no income taxes, only 23.5 percent of married couples filing jointly paid no income taxes.

The 41,551,043 married couples filing jointly who did pay income taxes accounted for only 27.6 percent of all 150,493,263 filers. But they made up about 42 percent of the 99,040,729 filers who did pay income taxes.

More tellingly, of the record \$1,457,891,441,000 in total income taxes the IRS collected for tax year 2015, married couples filing jointly paid \$1,040,684,097,000 of it — or about 71.4 percent.

So, married couples filing jointly constituted only 42 percent of filers who actually paid income taxes, but they paid 71.4 percent of the income taxes.

Obviously, this is a tax system that drastically needs to be overhauled. Hopefully the tax bill passed today represents that overhaul.