April 17: Tax Freedom Day — minus the ‘freedom’


Oh, delicious irony.

Tax Freedom Day, the day of the calendar year when Americans have earned enough to pay off their annual tax debts, falls on April 17 this year.

Thanks to the weekend and a District of Columbia holiday, that's the same day that individual tax returns must be filed.

That's right: The day on which you've earned enough to be free of your tax obligations for the year is the same day that your federal income tax return is due.

Let's break down Tax Freedom Day a bit, shall we? Here's how long it takes us to earn enough to pay off our various tax debts, according to the folks at The Tax Foundation:

  • Federal individual income tax: 32 days
  • State / local individual income tax: 8 days
  • Federal social insurance taxes: 23 days
  • State / local social insurance taxes: 4 hours
  • Federal sales / excise taxes: 2 days
  • State / local sales / excise taxes: 12 days
  • State / local property taxes: 12 days
  • Federal corporate income tax: 9 days
  • Other federal taxes: 3 days
  • Other state / local taxes: 4 days
  • State / local corporate income tax: 1 day

It varies by state as well. Maryland's Tax Freedom Day is April 23, for instance. Virginia's and D.C.'s is April 20, and Pennsylvania falls on April 18.

What does it all mean? Not a lot, really -- unless you're trying to take your mind off Busy Season for a few minutes.

For CPAs in April, a little diversion goes a long way.

Looking for tax training?
Visit our online CPE catalog and choose "Taxes" in the "Field of Study" drop-down box.


Bill Sheridan