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The Lifecycle of the 47 Percent

Don Fullerton and Nirupama L. Rao

Abstract:

News that 47 percent of Americans in 2009 paid no federal income tax drew considerable attention. For a longer view of not paying tax and of receiving transfers, we use the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics. Over all individuals, we find that 68 percent owe no income tax at least one year, of which 21 percent pay the following year and 45 percent pay within five years. Also, overall, 60 percent receive transfers other than Social Security at least one year, of which nearly 47 percent stop the next year and more than 94 percent stop within 10 years.

Citation

Don Fullerton and Nirupama L. Rao (2019), The Lifecycle of the 47 Percent , National Tax Journal, 72:2, pp. 359-396

DOI: dx.doi.org/10.17310/ntj.2019.2.03

Additional Materials

Online appendix