CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This tax season will be kind to Bank of America and Wells Fargo: It appears that neither bank will have to pay federal income taxes for 2009.

Bank of America probably won’t pay federal taxes because it lost money in the U.S. for the year. Wells Fargo was profitable, but can write down its tax bill because of losses at Wachovia, which it rescued from near collapse.

The idea of the country’s No. 1 and No. 4 banks not paying federal income taxes may be anathema to millions of Americans as they fill out their own tax forms. But tax experts say the banks’ situation is hardly unique.

“This happens all the time,” said Robert Willens, a tax accounting expert who runs a New York firm with the same name. “Especially now, with companies suffering such severe losses.”

Bob McIntyre, at Citizens for Tax Justice, said he opposes the government giving corporations such a break.

“If you go out and try to make money and you don’t do it, why should the government pay you for your losses?” McIntyre said. “It’s as simple as that.”

For 2009, Bank of America netted a $2.3 billion benefit related to income taxes, according to its annual report. It had a benefit of $3.6 billion from the federal government, and an expense of $1.3 billion paid to state and foreign governments.

It’s not unusual for a company’s debt to the federal government to vary widely from its debt to state governments, said Douglas Shackelford, a tax professor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The federal government often offers more tax deductions than the states; for example, Bank of America wrote down its federal taxable income with credits from low-income housing and losses on foreign subsidiary stock.

Wells Fargo was profitable in 2009, with $8 billion in earnings applicable to common shareholders. But its tax payments were reduced because of Wachovia’s losses.