Paid Your Taxes Yet?  Your Bank Probably Hasn't.

Paid Your Taxes Yet? Your Bank Probably Hasn't.

Despite the fact that most of us have been either writing checks to Uncle all year or are preparing to write one big one now, the banks we do business with are less likely than ever to pay taxes for 2009.

Chances are you're goggling at that headline right now--not pay taxes??  How is THAT possible?

Oh, it's quite possible.  And when you look at why, it actually makes sense.

See, banks have been having a pretty bad year.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Most every business everywhere has been having a bad year.  But in business, you pay taxes based on your adjusted gross income.  Adjusted, of course, against allowable deductions.  Small business folk think of this in terms of capital investment or mileage or any of a hundred other things, but for big businesses (like banks) a seriously large allowable deduction comes in the form of BUSINESS LOSSES.

If you're just starting out in business, you may already be familiar with the idea that the government lets you declare a business loss on your taxes for up to seven years consecutively before no longer allowing it as a tax deduction.  Thus, many people with more "hobby-based" businesses will run them at a loss to give them a more favorable tax picture (special note--if you're thinking about trying this yourself, don't, at least not without the counsel of a CPA).  And this year, most every business (especially a whole lot of banks) operated at a loss, or bought money-losing divisions, thus allowing them to declare a paltry income or even a full-on loss.

Thus, some of the biggest companies out there, including some who got themselves a whole load of taxpayer money, will not actually be taxpayers themselves for FY 2009.

Kind of makes you think twice about storing YOUR savings in mattresses, huh?

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