Make Over $200,000 And Pay No Income Tax?

At least that is what these people did:

New IRS statistics show 7,389 federal tax returns with $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income reported no federal income taxes in 2005. That’s a 161% jump from the 2,833 comparable returns filed in 2004. Additionally, 4,224 of the over-$200,000 earners reported no worldwide income tax liability on their 2005 returns, the IRS data show. That represents a 75% increase from the 2,420 comparable returns filed in 2004.

Isn’t that grand! 7,389 people making more than $200K a year did not pay income taxes while the rest of us schlubs covered some of the difference. Gotta love the American tax system and it’s ginormous loopholes!

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Comments (12)

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  1. Ken says:

    Man i want to see one of these tax returns. That way i can figure out what i should do to avoid taxes. 😉

  2. Jeremy says:

    That’s why any time a politician proposes to increase the taxes on the rich, they will probably end up losing even more tax revenue as the wealthy find even more ways to shelter their money.

    Our system is terribly flawed, and just fiddling with percentage increases on certain income brackets will never solve anything. We need some real tax code reform.

  3. David says:

    Unfortunately, avoiding taxes results in no schools, bad roads, no airlines, no oil, no police, no fire, no…. 😉

    I agree Jeremy – the entire thing needs to be ditched – but it never will be, as too many people depend on it staying as-is. A friend of mine works for the state of CA and says that you get in trouble if you actually do your job or try to improve things – the goal there is to do as little as possible, keep your job forever, never raise an eyebrow, and retire on our tax dollars. That’s it – there will never be real reform, I am afraid.

  4. Mrs. Micah says:

    If I had $200,000 a year right now, I’d be happy to pay the taxes. But that’s mostly because it’s maybe 9x what we made last year. 😉

  5. Crybaby says:

    *waaahhhh* People have money and stuff I don’t have. *waaahhhh*

    I want tax loopholes too but I don’t bother to give to charities because I need to fuel my giant SUV and pay for my premium satellite package.

    It just isn’t fair!

    I’m going to vote for whomever promises to stick it to the rich!!! Those jerks!!! (Even if it means MY tax breaks will go away too.) Eep!


  6. I’m guessing this “loophole” is charity. People who already made their money and donate what comes in.

  7. […] Two Dollars finds out that many people earning over $200,000 pay no income tax! […]

  8. Or people who are 100% invested in Muni Bonds. Lol 🙂

  9. Whiners unite! says:

    Okay, I don’t condone tax evasion and loopholes, but stop to consider this: You’re on a modest to low income, you scrimp and save in every way possible. Even your kids start work at a very early age (say 10, then at 14, a legal, taxable job). You encourage your kids to go to college so they can have better opportunities than you. They do (via financial aid, working, loans, etc). They come out of college with a degree that literally opens doors. Fifteen years later, your kids have a family and their household income tops $200k. Are you going to begrudge them their hard-earned financial situation? Guess what? I’m one of those kids. So for those of you who want to “stick it to the rich”, consider that their earnings didn’t come from the money tree, but hard work. I happily pay my taxes because I’m thankful for what I have and I DON’T MIND, but I do get mighty tired of everyone and their mother putting their sticky fingers into my wallet and taking more and more and more, simply because I can afford it. The people you should begrudge are the big businesses that have oodles of tax shelters and benefits. Oh, and my mom’s modest income? No more than $6,000 in a year.

  10. Steve D says:

    So, rather then rant and complain I looked at the tax code. How could they do that?

    There are only a few basic ways that you can have an AGI of over $200k and pay no taxes. The main place is in schedule A. For example if you earn $220k but have to pay $300k in out of pocket medical you would have no tax liability. If someone stole $230k from you then again you’d have no tax liability. In other cases the home mortgage interest, property tax, state income tax can help reduce the liability to zero. Gifts to charity also apply – I would think this would be somewhat common in the case of some 70year old with 5mil giving away a $300k per year.

    Outside of schedule A there is a little list on the 1040.
    Other items that would contribute:
    District of Columbia. first-time homebuyer credit
    Qualified Adoption Expenses
    AMT credit
    Child tax credit
    residential energy credits
    education credits
    credit for elderly and disabled
    credit for child care
    retirement savings credit
    foreign tax credit (for taxes earned and paid in a foreign country that are also taxed in the us.)
    Then there is a whole pile in the business side – form 3800:
    welfare to work for hiring certain folks,
    disabled access credit
    renewable electricity credit
    bio-diesel credit
    distilled spirits credit.

    Messy – yes. Some specific stupid programs yep. Big easy loopholes for the evil rich to get out of paying taxes – not so much. A good argument for massive tax simplification – Yes. It’s not easy to trust that its even close to fair that way it is now. Plus the little stupid things encourage lobbying and corrupting the system. So, bad – but not quite the evil it’s portrayed to be.

  11. John Enright says:


    Plus inflation is a hidden tax on us all…

    Your birth certificate has a security number on it that coinsides with a stock securities number…You are owned by a bank and publicly traded on the stock market…YOU ARE A SLAVE…YOU JUST DON”T KNOW IT

  12. John Enright says: