You owe the IRS 99 days of hard work

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- This year, it's going to take the average American 99 days to earn enough money to pay the IRS. That's one day longer than last year.

"Tax Freedom Day" marks the date that most Americans have earned enough money to pay their federal, state and local taxes, and this year that day arrives on April 9, according to the Tax Foundation's annual calculation, which is based on government tax and income data.

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Tax Freedom Day arriving one day later than it did last year means most Americans will have to work that much harder -- for more than three months -- just to pay their 2010 taxes.

The number of days Americans have to work to pay off their taxes has declined steadily since 2007. That's due to a handful of tax cuts, certain income tax provisions that were repealed for 2010 and because the recession has reduced tax collections faster than it has cut income, according to the Tax Foundation.

But while it will take people less time to earn the money this year than it did in 2007, Americans will still spend more on taxes in 2010 than they will on food, clothing and shelter combined, the Tax Foundation said.

State-by-state: Each state has its own Tax Freedom Day. The day arrived earliest in Alaska and Louisiana -- on March 26 -- because of "modest incomes and low state and local tax burdens," the Tax Foundation said.

Mississippi, South Dakota and West Virginia celebrated soon after, on March 28, March 29 and March 30, respectively.

Connecticut, the state with the highest per capita income, will be the last to celebrate. Tax Freedom Day won't arrive until April 27, the 117th day of the year.

New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Washington will join Connecticut as the last states to celebrate. In these states, Tax Freedom Day will fall on April 25, April 23, April 19 and April 15, in that order.  To top of page

 
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