Survey | Taxpayers Dread Doing Their Taxes


Prison toilet | Image by Robin Nieuwenkamp/Shutterstock

It’s said that death and taxes are a certainty, whether one likes it or not. In the case of both filing and paying taxes, a recent analysis shows that Americans do not.

In fact, for some, getting the words “IRS” tattooed on their bodies would be worth never having to do their taxes again. And that’s just for starters.

According to a 2023 tax survey from WalletHub, grievances about taxes and tax collectors are abundant in the eyes of American taxpayers.

Among the biggest fears about doing taxes that respondents voiced in the survey was possibly not having enough money to pay what they owe (34%). The second biggest fear of respondents was making a math mistake (23%) on their tax return, and the third was getting audited (22%).

Respondents said they would do almost anything for a “tax-free” future, with 37% of people willing to get an IRS tattoo, 23% willing to cease speaking for six months, 22% willing to take a vow of celibacy, 14% willing to name a child “Taxes,” and 10% willing to clean prison toilets for three years.

Nearly half of the respondents (49%) said they would prefer jury duty over filing their taxes, while 36% said they would sooner talk to their children about sex, and 26% would rather miss a connecting flight.

Further, an incredible 39% of those polled said they would move to a different country in order to not have to pay their taxes anymore.

Roberta Mann, professor emerita at the University of Oregon School of Law, said she was surprised by this answer.

“While I am not surprised that people would prefer to reduce their tax burden, I doubt that the survey question fully explored the potential collateral consequences of such a move,” Mann said to WalletHub, explaining that most people didn’t have the ability to move out of the country.

The survey also found that 73% of respondents believe the government does not spend tax dollars wisely. And overall, 72% of survey respondents said that their tax rate was too high.

According to WalletHub, the survey asked more than 200 people questions about taxes and “normalized the data by age, gender, and income so the sample would reflect U.S. demographics.”

Still, despite all the groaning, it seems that Americans right now have more on their minds than doing or paying their taxes: A whopping 81% of respondents said they were more concerned about inflation than taxes this year.

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