Some Americans actually enjoy doing their taxes

A new survey says a surprisingly large group -- one-third of taxpayers -- doesn't mind the annual April ritual.

By Bruce Kennedy Apr 12, 2013 11:43AM

Image: Man with calculator (© Siri Stafford / Photodisc Red/Getty Images)Are you dreading the April 15 tax deadline? You're not alone: A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted earlier this month, says more than half of Americans have a negative reaction to doing their income taxes. More surprising, however, is the one-third who said they either like (29%) or downright love (5%) doing their taxes.


The study also offers an interesting glimpse at American taxpayers, in terms of their income levels, political affiliations and moral compasses.


Let's start with the majority of Americans, for whom grumbling over taxes is an annual pastime. When asked why they dislike or hate doing their taxes, most of those surveyed cited the time needed and the hassle of getting the necessary paperwork together. Just over 30% say it's complicated, and they fear making mistakes. An additional 24% find the process inconvenient and time-consuming, 12% don't like how the government uses their tax money, and 5% feel they're paying too much.


As for those who enjoy doing their income taxes: 29% say they're getting a refund. An additional 17% simply don't mind preparing their taxes or say they're good at it. And 13%, according to the study, "say doing their taxes gives them a sense of control, while the same percentage cites a feeling of obligation -- that it is their duty to pay their fair share."


Some other interesting factoids: Lower-income taxpayers are more likely to have a positive take on doing their taxes than folks with higher incomes. There's also a political divide: 60% of Republicans surveyed said they disliked or hated doing their taxes, compared to 46% of Democrats and 62% of independents.


There's also an ethical perspective: 71% of Americans (78% of Republicans, 68% of Democrats and 69% of independents) taking part in the poll agreed that not reporting all income on your taxes is morally wrong. That compared to the 19% surveyed who don't see that as a moral issue, and the 6% who say underreporting is morally acceptable.


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21Comments
Apr 12, 2013 1:56PM
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I'm not sure what who the source of these statistics is, or how the questions where asked, but I think it's fair to say that more than 12% of Americans feel our tax money is not well spent, and more than 5% believe their tax burden is too high.

Heck, it'd be hard to get ten people in a room and only have one that thinks our taxes are spent poorly---or 20 in a room with only one thinking they pay too much.

That's just two of the statistics, the most of the others seem dubious as well.

Apr 13, 2013 1:18AM
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I would love to have to pay 5 or 10 million dollars in tax.  That would mean that I probably received about 50 million in income.
Apr 13, 2013 12:46PM
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This article could have only been written by MSNBC.
Apr 13, 2013 10:44AM
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Some may look at tax time, whether they owe or are due a refund, as a way, not only to get the required filing out the door, but as a good point in time to take stock of financial health for the year. Tax time, afterall, isn't all about government - it's really all about you and your financial planning and efforts for the entire year. It's one of many important parts of your life.  BTW Happy 100th birthday Form 1040.
Apr 13, 2013 11:04AM
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"Enjoy" doing MY taxes?   My tax return was almost 85 pages long last year including all worksheets and State forms.  I don't think the word "enjoy' is the best description.   I'm a CPA and I do my own taxes, but "put up with" is a better description than "enjoy". 
Apr 13, 2013 11:11PM
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An antiquated tax system that no one understands and no questions to be answered. Charge everyone 5% national sales tax, no more loop holes no more advantage for the ultra rich. Layoff all of the IRS save on all the salaries, paper work and paper. Looks like a win for everyone, 
Apr 13, 2013 1:21PM
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I don't know what planet you and the rest of the buffoons come from who think most of us like doing  taxes. Great propaganda and re-education attempt to convince people that illegal taxation is awesome. Funny how you don't mention that prior to 1913 before the creation of the 16th Amendment there were no income taxes. Direct taxes were unconstitutional under Article 1, Section 8. Not until the enactment of the 16th Amendment did congress authorize the creation of a fiat money tax system. Meaning congress use to have the power to create it's own money supply without interest. Under the 16th Amendment, The Federal Reserve (private bank) now created the money on behalf of the  Federal government with interest. The government intern passed the interest onto the people as an income tax. Nice, huh. In other words your income taxes are used to pay for the government's interest it borrows from the Fed for the creation of the money supply. It's a ponzi scheme. Now, according to this article I'm supposed to be thrilled and ecstatic to pay taxes to the government for legally stealing from it's citizens since 1913. I'm awake, are you!!!!
Apr 13, 2013 11:01AM
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So this author is telling me only 5% think they pay too much in taxes?  That must be the 5% who pay 85% of all income taxes.  Of course the others won't complain since their tax rates are so much lower.
Apr 14, 2013 11:14AM
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I have always prepared my own tax returns.  I make it a point to keep myself as up to date as I can on issues affecting my finances and taxes.  By doing this, I am a more informed personas it relates to taxes.  Most people who make statements about their taxes are not informed.  For instance, most people do not know what "marginal tax rate means", what their actual taxable rate is etc.  The big hoax for many is the mortgage interest deduction.  If you pay $5,000 in mortgage interest for a year, and you are in the 25% tax bracket, you save $1,250.  The standard deduction for a married couple for 2013 is $12,200.  If you do not have $12,200 in itemized deductions, you still get this amount automatically.  Add to this the personal exemption of $3,900 for each person for 2013, and a married couple with no children has $20,000 that is not taxed.  If you make $80,000 in 2013 your taxable income would be $60,000.  You will pay 10% on the first $17,850 and 15% on the remaining $42,150 or a total tax of $8,108 or an effective tax rate of 10.14%, ($8,108 divided by $80,000).  Your marginal tax rate is 15% or the rate you pay on you highest dollars taxed.  This does not include social security 6.20% on the first $113,000 and Medicare tax of 1.45% unlimited.
Apr 17, 2013 7:00AM
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Lower income people are usually getting a refund. People who have to pay don't like doing their taxes. Republican's are likely to have to pay? 12% feel taxes not well spent did you do this survey in the postal union hall?   The tax code is now over 70K pages and growing. 
Apr 17, 2013 12:51AM
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There is a difference in being analytically inclined and wanting to understand your personal finances or simply put you like doing MATH which can stimulate the mind and be under the threat of 'OUR' government imprisoning you for something which truly is none of their or ANYONE'S DAMN BUSINESS and that being how much money you and/or family make and taxing different income at different rates and requiring US to ell THEM how much and to what charities or church you gave your money and on and on we go. Just like you do not want a peeping Tom looking in  your bedroom the LAST person or entity that should involve themselves in ANY WAY in anyone's life is the government. With the age of computers we now live in a FAIR system to fund the 'necessities' of local, state and federal governments could be developed but the government realizes in the IRS they can put the fear of God in the masses and use their taxing authority as a billy club to beat the HELL out of you , me or anyone who raises their voice in protest that there MUST BE A BETTER WAY. BTW THERE IS NO FEAR IN 'LOVE' AND 'OUR' GOD IS LOVE 1 John 4:16
Apr 14, 2013 10:06PM
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I enjoy making love to my wife too.  Here's the difference, when it comes to taxes; the government is involved and I have to pay to participate.
Apr 13, 2013 12:27AM
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Before my unemployment from my $110K/year job I felt proud (enjoyed) of my opportunity to earn and the contribution to America by paying tax when I look at my Tax Return.  But I hated the rush to meet the deadline.  It was like cramping for final test in college all over again.  Now, I am worthless, hopeless and sick in America.
Apr 12, 2013 9:59PM
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Darn right I enjoy doing my taxes. Stop trampling on my 16th amendment rights!
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