A Third of Americans Like Taxes. Who Are They?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 11 2013 2:22 PM

A Third of Americans Like Taxes. Who Are They?

Hating tax season is supposedly a treasured American pastime. But according to a new study, one third of Americans actually enjoy doing their taxes. Who are these people?

They're math whizzes, and people getting refunds, for starters. Of the 34 percent of the population who enjoy doing their taxes (that includes 5 percent of Americans who love it), 29 percent say it's because they're getting a refund. 17 percent simply don't find the process that difficult, 13 percent like the sense of control, and another 13 percent enjoy fulfilling what they see as an obligation.

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Lower income Americans, minorities, and Democrats had a more positive view of doing their taxes as well, according to Pew's analysis. Forty-one percent of Americans making under $30,000 annually had a positive view of the process, as did 40 percent of Democrats. And 52 percent of African Americans liked or loved doing their taxes, compared to 28 percent of white people.

So what about the 56 percent of Americans who dislike the whole process? Most of them (55 percent) cite the inconvenience of the process itself as the main reason they hate doing taxes. Just 5 percent of Americans hate doing their taxes because they think they pay too much, 9 percent aren't so keen on it because they're not getting a refund, and 12 percent don't like the way the government spends their tax dollars.

Read the full results at Pew, or check out their infographic containing specific responses from the study. Want to hear from someone who definitely hates doing their taxes? Check out Caleb Crain's Slate piece on what it's like to file as a gay married couple.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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