Americans love a lot of things – hamburgers, baseball, Justin Bieber – but taxes?
According to a new Pew Research Center study, 34 percent of Americans actually enjoy doing their taxes – and 5 percent of them love it. Who are these people and how can we get some of what they’re on?
Of those who say they like doing taxes, the most common reason is that they’re getting a refund (29 percent). That’s followed by those who think the process is fairly easy (17 percent), those who like having a sense of control (13 percent), and those who see paying taxes as doing their duty as an American (13 percent).
“I live in America. Nothing is free,” says one 61-year-old female. Another 58-year-old male says he likes doing his taxes because “my wife does it.”
People with household incomes under $30,000 are more likely to say the process was enjoyable, whereas those making $75,000 or more are more likely to say the opposite. Blacks are also more likely than whites to say they don’t mind doing their taxes (52 percent vs. 28 percent), according to Pew – and not surprisingly, Democrats have a more positive view of taxes than Republicans or independents do. Of those who disliked the process, 31 percent said it’s because it’s too complicated and they’re afraid of making mistakes.
The majority of Americans believe that cheating and not reporting all income is morally wrong (71 percent), though that’s fallen since 2006, when 79 percent said the same. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that not reporting income is a moral issue. The survey is based on interviews with 1,003 adults 18 or older.
Here’s a collection of some of the best responses from the report:
Like Doing Taxes:
“Somebody else does it for me and I love the way he does it for me.”
“I find it a game: how to get the largest refund legally.”
“My wife does it.”
“It's part of life and you gotta do it.”
“Gives a closing to the year.”
“It's a good feeling to support the government. It's our duty, part of our patriotism.”
“It’s the only time I get a big sum of money in my household. Otherwise, I live paycheck to paycheck.”
Dislike Doing Taxes:
“It's just a necessary evil.”
“It's too confusing. The tax code is way too complicated.”
“You have to have a professional for it and they don't always do it right.”
“Pray that I don't make a mistake.”
“All taxes are going to food stamps.”
“I think taxes should [be] illegal.”
“So angry when they waste it.”
“I think our government has been overspending for many, many years.”