Over at IRS.gov they have released a preliminary 2008 report (13 pages) on 2008 tax returns. Some highlights you might find interesting:

  • 142.4 million individual income tax returns were filed, which is decrease of 0.5% from 2007
  • For the first time since 2002, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) was less – it decreased by 3.7%
  • Net Capital Gains decreased by 40%
  • Capital Gains Distributions (Net) decreased by 74.6%
  • Overall taxable income decreased by 5.1%
  • Total tax liability fell by 6.0%
  • However, despite decreased in income and other taxes, the Alternative Minimum tax rose by 6.3%
  • Net income less losses decreased by 12.5% for partnerships and S Corporations
  • Net income less losses decreased 5.4% for Sole Proprietorship’s
  • 9.6 million returns (24% increase from 2007) reported taxable Unemployment Compensation
  • 43.9 billion in taxable unemployment Compensation was reported – 47.6% increase
  • In Adjusted Gross Income, salaries and wages increased 1.5%
  • In Adjusted Gross Income, taxable pension and annuities increased 2.2%
  • Contributions to IRA’s decreased 9.7%
  • Total deductions on income increased 1%
  • 64.6% of all returns claim the Standard Deduction, which was $7,602
  • Average total for Itemized Deductions was $26,268
  • Interest Paid was the largest Itemized Deduction – 37.7% of total deductions
  •  State Taxes was the 2nd largest deduction
  • Tax Credits used to offset income tax liability increased 18.6%

Income down (especially stock income), unemployment up, retirement saving down. Seems like people were trying to just get by in 2008. It will be interesting to see if the 2009 returns show an improving economy (which we keep hearing about) or if it will be more of the same.

Categories: Tax