Some harsh figures are tucked into newly released income tax data from 2009: As the economy shed jobs, so too did the country shed taxpayers. Two million fewer individuals and couples filed with the IRS, while some 1,470 people earning $1 million or more didn’t pay a dime, the Huffington Post reports. Meanwhile, the average income dropped 6.1% between 2008 and 2009, to $54,283, IRS data shows. “What you're seeing is the devastation of the massive loss of jobs and the effects of the real recession on real Americans,” says a law professor.
Unemployment claims jumped by 2 million between 2008 and 2009, a 19% increase, while the amount of jobless claims paid in 2009 was almost twice what it had been the year before. Meanwhile, the number of 1040EZ forms filed—simplified forms for those with a taxable income of less than $100,000—dropped 23%, a reflection of joblessness among former lower-income taxpayers, says the professor. “What you're seeing is people at the bottom rung of the economic ladder being taken off the economic ladder entirely,” the professor adds. Click through for more details on the IRS data.