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. On top of those normal worries, COVID-19 has had an impact as well, as 44 million people expect to pay this year’s taxes late due to the 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 350 taxpayers.
Here's what we learned:
- 72% of Americans think the government should have provided more tax relief due to COVID-19.
- 81% of people say the government does not spend their tax dollars wisely.
- Half of people would move to a different state to avoid taxes.
- 48% of Americans think that their neighbors cheat on their taxes.
- 66% of people think their current tax rate is too high.
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 208 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 37% 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 350 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?|
|Get an “IRS” tattoo||38%|
|Move to a different country||37%|
|Take a vow of celibacy||20%|
|Stop talking for 6 months||19%|
|Name your child “Taxes”||15%|
|Clean prison toilets for 3 years||9%|
|Which do you like more than the IRS? (check all that apply)|
|Snakes & Spiders||36%|
|What are your biggest Tax Day concerns?|
|Not Having Enough Money To Pay||27%|
|Making A Mathematical Mistake||26%|
|Is the IRS really necessary?|
|There’s lots of room for improvement||44%|
|It should be abolished||18%|
|I hate it, but we need it||17%|
|They’re doing a fine job||14%|
|They’re doing a great job||7%|
|Who will/would make the best use of your tax dollars?|
|What would you rather do than your taxes?|
|Miss a connecting flight||35%|
|Talk to your kids about sex||32%|
|Spend the night in jail||19%|
|Swim with sharks||17%|
|Drink expired milk||15%|
|Does the government currently spend your tax dollars wisely?|
|Do you think the government should have provided more or less tax relief due to Covid-19?|
|Do you think your current tax rate is…?|
|Corporate tax rates should be … ?|
|Higher than consumer tax rates||62%|
|The same as consumer tax rates||21%|
|Lower than consumer tax rates||17%|
|Would you move to a different state to avoid taxes?|
|Which of the following groups pay their fair share in taxes? (select all that apply)|
|Middle class people||66%|
|Which matters most to you when deciding where to live?|
|Cost of living||38%|
|Do you think any of your neighbors cheat on their taxes?|
|Do you expect to pay this year’s taxes late due to COVID-19?|
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.