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How much do you have to make to file taxes? Here’s who pays income tax

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  • The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that nearly 76 million Americans won’t owe federal income tax on tax day 2020.
  • Some Americans don’t owe taxes on their income because it is too low; the deductions and credits available to them wipe out their tax liability.
  • If you’re under age 65 and earn less than the standard deduction — $12,200 for singles, $18,350 for single parents, and $24,400 for joint filers — you likely won’t have to file a federal tax return for 2019, unless you want to claim refundable credits.
  • If you made more than the standard deduction for your age and filing status, claimed unemployment income, or are self-employed and earned at least $400 during the year, you must file a tax return with the IRS.
  • Many people who don’t pay federal income tax do work and owe payroll taxes, which support Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance.
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

It was Benjamin Franklin who famously wrote in 1789, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

While the first part remains true today (we have yet to crack the code on eternal life), taxes on income are not certain for every American.

According to the nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, nearly 76 million Americans, or about 44% of total tax units (one unit is equal to either a single filer or one married couple filing jointly) are expected to have a zero or negative income tax bill for the 2019 tax year. That’s over 3 million more tax units than two years ago, an increase attributable to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“The large percentage of people who don’t owe federal income tax is a feature, not a bug, of the revenue code,” write the Tax Policy Center’s Philip Stallworth and Daniel Berger. “By design, the federal income tax always has excluded a significant fraction of households through a combination of personal exemptions, the standard deduction, zero bracket amounts, and more recently, tax credits.”

About 97.3 million Americans are expected to file a federal tax return for 2019, according to the Tax Policy Center. The deadline to file your taxes in 2020 is Wednesday, April 15.

How much do you have to make to file taxes?

Not “losing” a portion of your paycheck to taxes may sound nice to some, but it’s not a luxury. Millions of Americans don’t owe taxes on their income because they don’t earn enough money.

As a benchmark, if you’re under age 65 and earned less than the standard deduction — $12,200 for singles, $18,350 for single parents, and $24,400 for joint filers in 2019 — you won’t have to file a federal tax return. These deductions are taken before taxable income is calculated and can wipe out your total tax liability if you didn’t earn enough.

If you’re over age 65 and filing single or head of household, the standard deductions increase to $13,850 and $20,000, respectively. If you or your spouse is over age 65 and you file jointly, the standard deduction is $25,700.

Those with a zero or negative tax bill aren’t required to file, unless they want to claim refundable credits, such as the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the child tax credit (CTC), or had tax withheld by their employer throughout the year and want to get a refund.

If you made more than the standard deduction for your age and filing status, claimed unemployment income, or were self-employed and earned at least $400 during the year, you must file a tax return with the IRS.

How a negative tax bill could turn into a refund

Consider this example of a woman who doesn’t owe federal income tax and will likely end up with a refund:

Amy is a single mother who, by the end of 2019, will have earned $20,000. The standard deduction of $18,350 for single parents reduces her taxable income to $1,650, which places her in the 10% tax bracket ($0 to $9,525). Her tax bill comes out to $165.

If she qualifies for the earned income tax credit (EITC), a subsidy for low-income working families, she can reduce her tax bill by up to $3,526, the maximum for a family with one child in the 2019 tax year. She may also claim the child tax credit (CTC), which allows her to apply a credit of up to $2,000 to her tax bill.

Amy will end up with a negative final tax bill, and since EITC and CTC are refundable, she’ll receive the credits as cash.

But while Americans who earn too little don’t pay income taxes, those who hold a job are still subject to payroll taxes, which support Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. According to Tax Policy Center data, 26.7 million Americans owed neither income nor payroll taxes for the 2018 tax year. However, some taxes are certain for everyone, regardless of income, including sales taxes, excise taxes, and property taxes.



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The Dem debate in Las Vegas got more viewers than these programs

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The ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

game of thrones

“Game of Thrones”

HBO


Complaints from longtime fans aside, “Game of Thrones” was a consistent bread winner for HBO, bringing in high ratings for the premium cable network. 

However, diminishing enthusiasm over the final season of the series left the finale episode not only outpaced by the Las Vegas debate, but also not even the most viewed episode of the season, falling to a 15,845 rating.



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Dwyane Wade: 2012-13 Heat win streak had peak LeBron, couldn’t lose

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  • Dwyane Wade said the 2012-13 Miami Heat was a “special” team and felt like they couldn’t lose, particularly during their historic 27-game winning streak.
  • Wade said that team may have featured LeBron James at his peak — though he argued James may still be there now.
  • The dominance of that Heat team and the fun they had on the court changed public opinion of them after the “Big Three” joined up, according to Wade, a decision he is also proud of.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The 2012-13 Miami Heat can boast a claim as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

In their third year with the “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Heat went 66-16 in the regular season, including a 27-game win streak, the second-longest NBA history. They went 12-4 in the first three rounds of the playoffs, then won the championship in a thrilling, seven-game series with the San Antonio Spurs, notching their second straight title.

While speaking to Business Insider ahead of the release of his ESPN documentary, “Life Unexpected,” Wade said that Heat team knew they were doing something “special” and created memories they’ll never forget.

“I think going through that process, we knew that it was something special that was being done,” Wade said. “You could feel it.”

lebron james dwyane wade

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Ronald Martinez/Getty


The 27-game win streak, in particular, featured some of the most dominant basketball the league has ever seen. The Heat did not lose from February 3 to March 27 before finally falling to the Chicago Bulls in Chicago. During that span, the Heat outscored teams by nearly 13 points per 100 possessions. Sixteen of the 27 wins were by double-digits.

“Winning 27 in a row, man, it felt like you can never lose, you know,” Wade said. “It was just automatic. Down 27 in a fourth quarter? That’s okay, we’ll come back. It was that mentality and it was so much fun.”

That season may have also been LeBron James’ finest (a lofty achievement). James took home his fourth MVP that year and dominated both sides of the ball. Bosh has since told The Ringer’s Bill Simmons that it was the best basketball he’s ever seen anyone play. Wade agreed that it may have been the best he’s seen James.

“Definitely ‘Bron was at his — I mean you can’t say that he’s not at his peak still, but you know, he was definitely at the best of LeBron James we have ever seen.”

Wade said that Heat team also found its groove off the court. He noted that that was the season they produced their own viral “Harlem Shake” video.

“Two years before, we was the team that was hated because of the decision we made,” Wade said, referring to the teaming up of James, Bosh, and Wade. “And then two years later we was loved because we have fun playing the game of basketball.”

miami heat big 3

Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James.

Chris Trotman/Getty


Wade looks back at that decision to team up with equal pride. That Heat era seems like a flash in the pan — four years, four Finals appearances, two championships, and that was it. James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. Wade and Bosh remained with the Heat, but Bosh’s career was cut short in 2016 with blood clots. 

Wade, however, said that the impact of the three stars teaming up still resonates today, what many in the NBA world consider the “player empowerment” era.

“I’m proud to be a part of, you know, LeBron and Chris Bosh and myself, proud that we was a part of creating that change and shifting the power,” Wade said. “It’ll shift back at some point, but 10 years strong, the power has been shifted into the player’s hand. As a player and as an advocate for the players coming forward, after us, coming up, that’s what you want.

“We understand what the game has done for us and the platform the game give us, but the game is only as good as the players. And the fact that the players can have that power, it makes me feel good to know that we was, you know, in the beginning phases of that.”



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Latin America Fintech Landscape report from Business Insider

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Fintech has had a staggering influence globally, catapulting to new highs in major financial markets like the UK and the US, but Latin America (LATAM) has lagged behind — until now. 

Latin America Smartphone Adoption



Business Insider Intelligence


A massive fintech boom is taking hold in the region as innovative upstarts look to leverage widespread smartphone and internet penetration to serve the region’s massive unbanked and underbanked populations and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Meanwhile, authorities in many of these countries have enacted fintech-friendly regulations, having identified fintech and digital financial services as a way to provide widespread financial access, while international investors have honed in on the region as an attractive investment space as it becomes harder to identify and compete for these startups in mature markets like the US and UK.

And the pace of fintech growth in the region is evidenced by the vast sums LATAM startups have raised: In Q2 2019, fintechs secured $481 million, representing a six-quarter high, at least, and accounting for 69% of the total raised in the region across all of 2018, per CB Insights.

In fact, those Q2 funding figures outpaced the sums raised by both Chinese ($375 million) and Indian ($350 million) fintechs for the first time — both notable Asian hubs that typically rake in substantial funding. All told, LATAM’s fintech ecosystem represents a huge opportunity, with the size of the industry estimated to exceed $150 billion by 2021.  

In the Latin America Fintech Landscape report, Business Insider Intelligence identifies five key fintech markets in the region — Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile — that provide meaningful insights into LATAM’s fintech ecosystem. The report explores the factors driving fintech growth in each country, identifies the key fintech segments within each market, and discusses what has made major players in each segment successful as well as how they can improve going forward. Finally, we examine opportunities and challenges in each country to illustrate how fintechs and incumbents can leverage the progress already made to further transform the region’s financial services landscape. 

The companies mentioned in this report are: Addi, Afluenta, Aliatu, Aspiria, Banco Inter, BBVA, ClearScore, ComparaOnline, ContaAzul, Contabilizei, Credijusto, Cumplo, Finaktiva, Jooycar, Klar, Konfio, Kubo.financiero, Kueski, Lineru, Mercado Credito, MercadoLibre, Moni, Neon, Nubank, Omie, OmniBnk, RapiCredit, Rebanking, RedCapital, Sempli, Starling, Ualá, Uber, Wilobank.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Fintech has spread globally over the past decade, taking root in various hubs worldwide, but Latin America has always lagged behind — until now.
  • This report highlights five countries — Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile — that are dominating LATAM’s booming fintech ecosystem.
  • Brazil is the region’s economic powerhouse and home to some of the most innovative players.
  • Mexico, LATAM’s second largest economy, is battling Brazil to become the dominant fintech hub, and boasts the greatest number of fintechs in the region.
  • Colombia, while considerably behind the region’s two dominant fintech ecosystems, has quietly consolidated its position as the third largest fintech ecosystem in LATAM.
  • Argentina’s long history of economic booms and busts has created a fertile environment for fintech growth.
  • Although Chile is the smallest fintech ecosystem of the five, it has seen rapid growth of fintech players over the last 18 months.

In full, the report:

  • Identifies the five markets at the forefront of LATAM’s fintech revolution: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile.
  • Discuss the factors driving fintech’s growth in each market, highlighting both regional factors as well as localized drivers.
  • Details the most notable fintech segments in each market and the major players in each segment.
  • Outlines the fintech opportunities and challenges in each of those countries going forward.

Interested in getting the full report? Here’s how to get access:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >>  Purchase & Download Now
  2. Sign up for Fintech Pro, Business Insider Intelligence’s expert product suite tailored for today’s (and tomorrow’s) decision-makers in the financial services industry, delivered to your inbox 6x a week. >> Get Started
  3. Join thousands of top companies worldwide who trust Business Insider Intelligence for their competitive research needs. >> Inquire About Our Enterprise Memberships
  4. Current subscribers can read the report here.



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