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107 Days: That's How Long It'll Take to Pay Your Taxes

, CNNMoney

More than three months of your hard-earned wages are going straight to your tax bill this year.

Americans will spend an average of 29% of their income on federal, state and local taxes in 2012, the Tax Foundation announced Monday. That's more than the average family spends on food, clothing and housing combined, the organization said.

And it means that the average American is going to be working 107 days into the year just to earn enough money to pay their taxes.

"Tax Freedom Day," as the Tax Foundation calls the date that the average American is finally free of its tax burdens, arrives on April 17 this year, coincidentally the same day taxes are due. That's four days later than last year.

The day has been arriving later in recent years, thanks to rising incomes -- and therefore higher tax liabilities and tax collection.
"As the economic recovery continues, the growth in individual incomes and corporate profits will increase tax revenues and push Tax Freedom Day ever later in the year," the Tax Foundation said in a statement.

This year's Tax Freedom Day is still a couple of weeks earlier than the latest one on record, which occurred on May 1, 2000. During that time, the economy was booming and Americans paid 33% of their total income in taxes.

The Tax Foundation, a research group that favors lower taxes, calculates Tax Freedom Day each year based on income, Social Security, sales, property and other taxes.

But not everyone agrees with the organization's methodology. The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, for example, argues every year that the report overstates the share of income that average households spend on taxes.

Chuck Marr, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' director of Federal Tax Policy, said in a statement that this year's Tax Freedom Day report "leaves a strikingly misleading impression of tax burdens."

He said the 29% share of income that the Tax Foundation cites as the 'average' tax burden is higher than what 80% of American families actually pay.

State by State

In addition to a national Tax Freedom Day, the Tax Foundation calculates a Tax Freedom Day for each state, based on individual state taxes.

The day has already arrived in Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi, where average incomes and state taxes are lower. Tennessee taxpayers celebrated Tax Freedom Day the earliest -- on March 31 -- and the holiday fell on April 1 in Louisiana and Mississippi.

South Carolina and South Dakota will celebrate soon afterward, on April 3 and April 4, respectively.

States with higher average incomes will be last to celebrate. Connecticut residents won't be free of their tax burdens until May 5, and those who live in New Jersey and New York won't welcome Tax Freedom Day until May 1.


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Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

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Rising incomes????? For who?

April 04 2012 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama Care is going to be overturned so Obama is attacking Supreme Court. Stock market is falling badly
Connection ?

April 04 2012 at 12:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Taxes aren't bad, it's what the taxes are spent on. If I payed in 30% of my wages and someone cleaned my house, did my laundry, bought my lunch, shoveled my driveway, payed all my dental and doctors bills ETC., it would be a great trade.

April 04 2012 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to craigmrfrn's comment

you must be an illegal. Oh, sorry, forgot you get the benefit
you don't have to pay the taxes. Sorry but soon you will get gov't hoodies

April 04 2012 at 12:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

craig, there are many places dolts can live in blissful oblivion as wards of the state.

Pick one.

April 04 2012 at 2:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Do I really pay these taxes? Let's be real. From the moment I entered the work force, I've roughly had the same amount deducted from my check. Who's really paying the taxes? The businesses I've worked for. It's not as if I was living off the the pre tax amount and then they came along and took it. If we woke up one morning and all of a sudden nobody had to pay taxes, we would be looking at many years of Employers not handing out raises.

April 04 2012 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to craigmrfrn's comment

Perhaps employers would recognize the existence of a few extraordinary stupid employees who are incapable of comprehending that by selling their labor to the highest bidder, they exert influence over a market place that sets wages. These dumbest one percenters may in fact not be offered raises. Of course, it's questionable whether such useful idiots would even have a job in the first place.

But even if we acknoweldge a few of the type of incompetents that you describe were charitably given a job, the reailty is that the rest of us would be whistling our way to the bank with overflowing pockets.

April 04 2012 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does the government really provide citizens something of greater value than is the value derived from feeding, clothing, and sheltering their families?

April 04 2012 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

107 days me @)$e---how many GENERATIONS to pay off this debt ?

April 03 2012 at 10:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

ZERO DAYS - That's how long it takes 50% of the population to work to pay their federal income taxes.

April 03 2012 at 4:25 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day of Obama's growing debt!
St. Peter dont you call cause I can't go Barak Obama has sold my soul!

April 03 2012 at 3:45 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Liberals won't be happy until EVERYONE making 50 grand or more pays 75% of their income in taxes. Reward the freeloaders so we have balance.

April 03 2012 at 2:34 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply