Tax Day Facts

Tax filers have an extra two days this year to file their taxes. Here are some facts from the past about who is paying what.

Tax Day is right around the corner even with the two-day extension that means you don’t have to file until April 17. So for the 11% of taxpayers who told Capital One that they plan to procrastinate and take advantage of the extra time, that time is almost up.

Whether or not you’ve decided to itemize your deductions or not, odds are you already decided how to spend your refund, which the IRS said averages $3,000. The Tax Foundation compiled some other basic information about American taxpayers based on the most recent data from 2010.

For instance, with 143 million tax returns filed in 2010, Americans paid federal income taxes of $945 billion. However, only 85 million, or 59%, of those taxpayers actually paid taxes. The remaining 58 million were non-payers, whose exemptions, deductions and credits wiped out any taxes they would have had to pay. That 41% of non-payers is up a huge amount from 2007 when only 33% were nonpaying. A huge majority (96%) of non-payers made less than $50,000 in 2010.

The share of taxes paid by people making less than $50,000 was 6.7%, while the share for those making more than $50,000 was 93.3%. As for those making more than $250,000? Their share of taxes paid was 45.7% and their effective tax rate is 23.4%.

Did you itemize? If not, you’re not alone. Only a third of tax filers bothered to itemize in 2010. And more people took the charitable donations deduction (27%) than the mortgage interest deduction (25%).

If all this sounds difficult, think of how the IRS and your accountants must feel. The IRS estimated that it takes 7 billion hours to comply with the tax code each year! And that tax code is 3.8 million words long and has had 4,428 changes to it over the last decade. That comes out to more than one change a day.

Happy Tax Day!