Whether you see it as a civic duty, a necessary evil or cause for a few choice expletives, it’s no surprise that most of us dislike tax time. From the expense and hassle of the process to questions of fairness and fears of basic math, there are many reasons for our April angst. Many people may have especially sour attitudes toward taxes this year, since a majority of Americans don’t think the government has handled their tax dollars wisely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But just how much do we dislike taxes and tax collectors? And what would we do to get out of paying?
In search of answers to those questions and more, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative survey of over 1,150 taxpayers.
Here's what we learned:
- 74% of people say the government has not handled their tax dollars wisely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 30% of people say making a math mistake is their biggest Tax Day fear, edging out not having enough money (29%) and identity theft (21%) at the top of the list.
- 38% of people would move to a different country for a tax-free future. 27% would get an “IRS” tattoo and 19% would stop talking for 6 months.
- 32% of people think charities would make the best use of their tax dollars, outnumbering by nearly 2.5 times people who trust the federal government the most with their taxes.
- 222 million Americans think the government does not spend taxes wisely.
Once the results of our survey were in, we asked a panel of experts in the fields of public taxes and tax reform to interpret our findings. Click on the panelists’ profiles below to read their bios and thoughts on the following key questions:
- WalletHub’s survey found that 222 million Americans do not believe the government is currently spending their tax dollars wisely. What do you think are the main reasons for that?
- Nearly 2.5 times more people think charities would spend their tax dollars more wisely than the federal government - are they right?
- What is the significance of roughly 38% of people saying they would move to a different country for a tax-free future?
- Why do you think making a math mistake is on par with not having enough money atop the list of people's Tax Day fears?
- What do you think it says about Americans that most of them do not believe the government has used their tax dollars wisely during the pandemic especially?
Ask the Experts
This report reflects the results of a nationally representative online survey of over 1,150 people.
After all responses were collected, we normalized the data by age, gender and income so the sample would reflect U.S. demographics.
Full Details Overall
|What would you do for a tax-free future? (select all that apply)|
|Move to a different country||38%|
|Get an “IRS” tattoo||27%|
|Stop talking for 6 months||19%|
|Take a vow of celibacy||16%|
|Name your child “Taxes”||13%|
|Clean prison toilets for 3 years||6%|
|Which do you like more than the IRS? (select all that apply)|
|Snakes & Spiders||18%|
|What are your biggest Tax Day concerns?|
|Making A Mathematical Mistake||30%|
|Not Having Enough Money To Pay||29%|
|Is the IRS really necessary?|
|There’s lots of room for improvement||49%|
|I hate it, but we need it||22%|
|They’re doing a fine job||12%|
|It should be abolished||12%|
|They’re doing a great job||5%|
|Who will/would make the best use of your tax dollars?|
|What would you rather do than your taxes? (select all that apply)|
|Talk to your kids about sex||25%|
|Miss a connecting flight||23%|
|Swim with sharks||14%|
|Spend the night in jail||12%|
|Drink expired milk||11%|
|Does the government currently spend your tax dollars wisely?|
|In your opinion, which of the following best describes accountants?|
|Do you think your current tax rate is…?|
|Corporate tax rates should be … ?|
|Higher than consumer tax rates||58%|
|The same as consumer tax rates||27%|
|Lower than consumer tax rates||16%|
|Has the government handled your tax dollars wisely during the COVID-19 pandemic?|
|Do rich people pay their fair share in taxes?|
|Do poor people pay their fair share in taxes?|
|Do middle class people pay their fair share in taxes?|
|Do you expect to pay this year’s taxes late due to COVID-19?|
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.