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When people say "they don't pay taxes" do they not understand how the tax system works?

Everyone who works pays taxes. Bare minimum, they are required to contribute the social security portion, even if they set their withholding so high that nothing else comes out. People may get money back in a refund, they may even get more than they put in if they qualify for EIC, but they don't get it immediately. The money that is paid in goes into accts where it earns interest. For the time it is in the possession of the government, it is the government's money to use.

On the other hand there are tax-exempt institutions. They do not pay anything to begin with. They supply no money with which the government may collect interest or apply towards payments in the interim year.

When X% of people get back as much or more than they paid in when they file their return, it does not mean the same as not paying taxes, any more than paying your gas bill and then getting a refund later because they found a billing error means the same as not paying your gas bill - if you hadn't paid you'd be disconnected and never get the refund in the first place. If you don't pay taxes, you get a call from the IRS, and there is no refund to exceed the amount you paid in.

So with that in mind, why are people so quick to group people who work 40 hrs a week for a lower wage than others in the same category as a church which contributes nothing at any time to the tax base?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 2:09 PM on Dec. 5, 2012 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • When I say people don't pay taxes, I mean FEDERAL INCOME TAX. And IMO, if you get back MORE than was withheld from your paycheck, in some cases MUCH more, then no, you don't pay taxes. Again, that is MY opinion.

    Answer by DSamuels at 10:51 PM on Dec. 5, 2012

  • Just drives you crazy that churches are tax exempt doesn't it?

    Personally I would be more than happy if churches paid taxes....can you imagine what groups like the Catholic Church and the LDS Church could do with no restraint.....might not be what people thought they wanted after all.


    Answer by yourspecialkid at 10:46 AM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • Good post ! It really irks me when Moms get all self righteous and angry and say that half of Americans don't pay taxes. They obviously have no idea what that means.Or they have never done a tax return or never looked at their paycheck stub to see how much tax is deducted and paid to the government....or they have never earned a paycheck. Whatever the reason, its so annoying,isn't it?
    They say "you can't fix stupid" but I say that you CAN....just send these airheads back to schooll.

    Answer by lga1965 at 12:46 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • No money gets taken out of our checks.

    Answer by Lobelia at 12:59 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • Just drives you crazy that churches are tax exempt doesn't it?

    Nice strawman. Does it come with a tinfoil hat?

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 1:24 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

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