How Many U.S. Taxpayers Are There?

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According to the IRS, 143.3 million people paid federal income taxes in 2017 for a total of $10.9 trillion in adjusted gross income. Total income taxes paid equaled $1.6 trillion in individual income taxes. However, people who don't pay federal income taxes must still pay some combination of state income, sales and other taxes. There are approximately 245.3 million adults in the Unites States as of that same year.

People who do not pay federal income tax are generally because they either had no taxable income or received enough tax breaks to reduce their income tax liability to zero. Generally, people who earn higher salaries pay a higher percent of their taxable income each year. In 2017, the top 25 percent of earners paid almost 86 percent of all income tax paid each year. People whose taxable income is in the bottom 40 percent of the population usually receive money from the government due to taxes. However, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy their income adjusted for inflation has also fallen by almost 10 percent since 1999, while the top 20 percent saw a roughly 10 increase in income adjusted for inflation.