When tax time rolls around, as it does every year, most of us hope to get at least some money back from the federal government. If you're J.P. Morgan Chase, you expect $1.4 billion.

The banking giant is taking advantage of a tax break approved by Congress last year that gives a break to companies who had big losses during the recession, but had previously posted huge profits in the good old days. The law allows companies to apply losses from 2008 or 2009 against taxes paid in the previous five years, instead of the previous two years.

J.P. Morgan is in negotiations with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and bondholders about the refund. Also eligible for a refund is the failed Washington Mutual to the tune of $2.6 billion, thanks to big losses in 2008. J.P. Morgan took over WaMu's banking operations in September 2008.

At least 250 other companies expect about $12 billion in federal tax refunds under the law, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

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