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Things we love to hate: Tax forms, bureaucracy, and April fools
Tax time is special, especially for the 1 percent who love to do their taxes

  Richard Amrhine's archive
  E-mail Richard Amrhine
Date published: 4/16/2006


ACCORDING TO a survey taken in April 2005 by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, 1 percent of Americans "love" to do their income taxes. Another 11 percent "like" to do them.

From this information we can assume that these people are CPAs or otherwise mathematics fanatics who are due large refunds.

On the flip side are the rest of us, including 45 percent who say they "dislike" doing their taxes and another 25 percent who say they "hate" it.

If you add those numbers, which you should be able to do if you do your own taxes, the total is only 82 percent. The other 18 percent apparently chose "none of the above" either because they are truly neutral on the topic or they live in a cabin in Montana, just waitin' for the G-man to come knockin'.

If you are such an objector, the calendar gives you until tomorrow night--an extra couple of days this year--to change your tune. I'd recommend that, unless you "like" or "love" going to jail.

I do the taxes at my house, which may be the primary reason my wife keeps me around. It also helps me get away with stuff around the house.

Sample conversation:

"So, are you going to doze off in front of the TV all day when there's so much to do around here?"

"Don't forget I did the taxes again this year, dear. But thanks for waking me up--I almost spilled my beer."

For that reason I fall into the category of Americans who merely dislike, rather than outright hate, doing their taxes.

A lot of people dislike doing their taxes because, even though they're getting a refund, the tax forms are so complicated to deal with. Of course doing my taxes was much easier back in the early days of my newspaper career, when the IRS person who received my return probably wept, figuring that anyone with so little income must live outdoors.

Over the years tax time has become more complicated, as my income has risen and my family has grown. Now the IRS person may assume I've moved indoors, but wonder whether my plumbing has moved indoors as well.

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