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How did you celebrate Tax Freedom Day?

Tax Day, the Tax Foundation's annual calculation of when U.S. taxpayers have earned enough money to pay their annual federal, state and local taxes, arrived last week.

To be precise, Tax Freedom Day 2013 was April 18. You did throw a party, right?

If not, you might still get a shot. Last Thursday was the national taxes-paid day. But some states are still waiting for their Tax Freedom Days.

Tax Freedom Day state map 2013
Click image for a larger view.

State tax burdens vary considerably, notes the Tax Foundation, due to differing state tax policies and because of the steep progressivity of the federal tax system. This means higher income states celebrate Tax Freedom Day later.

You have the most lead time to order a cake and send out invitations if you live in New Jersey, where Tax Freedom Day arrives on May 4. Residents in neighboring New York can celebrate on May 6. And the latest state Tax Freedom Day is in Connecticut  on May 13.

If you can pull together a party quickly, Tax Freedom Days also are still ahead for Minnesota, April 23; California, April 24; and Massachusetts, April 25.

Not everyone, however, thinks Tax Freedom Day is worth celebrating. As I noted last week at my other tax blog, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP, has some issues with how the days are calculated.

CBPP and others, including me, point out that taxes pay for services that benefit us every day.

Also at my other tax blog: How much we pay and what we get for those taxes is a major concern every tax year. So is worry about who's not paying taxes.

Bankrate Taxes Blog iconWhich cities are home to a substantial number of tax cheats also was a topic I blogged about last week for Bankrate. Just as important as who's cheating is why they feel compelled to fiddle with their tax numbers.

And I also listed some April 15 freebies that many businesses offered in connection with the federal tax filing deadline. I know that's long gone, but some of the specials are in effect for a little while longer.

You can check out my new posts typically each Tuesday and Thursday at Bankrate Taxes Blog. If you happen to miss them there, you can find a wrap-up here the following weekend.

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