Most Americans want their tax breaks

A man waits in a long line to turn in his federal and state tax forms on April 18, 2011, at a U.S. Post Office in San Jose.
A man waits in a long line to turn in his federal and state tax forms on April 18, 2011, at a U.S. Post Office in San Jose. Paul Sakuma/AP Photo

On President Obama’s tax return, it says he donated about 14 percent of his income to charity. He gets a deduction for that — and most Americans want to keep that one — and other deductions, too.

Your itemized deductions probably included what you paid in state income tax, in mortgage interest and in contributions to charities. Those are three of the most popular deductions with American taxpayers and they’re three that most don’t want to give up, even if it helps to cut the federal budget deficit.

A USA Today/Gallup poll found nearly 70 percent of those surveyed are against eliminating the tax deduction for charitable giving. And about six in ten oppose efforts to get rid of deductions for mortgage interest and local taxes.

Even taxpayers who file the 1040 short form and don’t itemize deductions oppose eliminating them.

The 2012 House budget resolution promises to “simplify” the tax code by eliminating some deductions. But the poll’s findings show how hard it will be for policymakers to do it.

You still have until midnight Monday to get your tax returns postmarked and in the mail.

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