Americans Say Taxes Worse than Trip to Dentist
Seventy percent of Americans say the tax code is too complicated and half would prefer a trip to the dentist, but few want radical changes in the system, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll.
Most Americans think federal income taxes are too complicated, but they’re not eager to simplify tax preparation by getting rid of some deductions and tax credits, according to an AP-Ipsos poll. Forty-five percent of those polled support eliminating them, while 51 percent oppose that approach.
Millions of Americans are scrambling to meet the April 15 tax deadline. Many acknowledge they dread preparing the tax forms. “Anybody who says they don’t mind their taxes is lying,” said businessman William Long of Ferris, Texas. “I definitely put them off until the last minute, even when money is coming back. I just don’t want to deal with them.”
Seven in 10 said their federal taxes are too complicated, according to a poll conducted for The Associated Press by Ipsos-Public Affairs. The survey found 49 percent would prefer a trip to the dentist while 48 percent would rather prepare their taxes.
Filing one’s income taxes is an incredible burden unless filing the 1040EZ is an option. Even professional tax preparation is unhelpful, since one has to gather the incredible array of supporting documentation even in order to have someone else do them. Even more than dealing with the DMV, this is the most onerous routine task of citizenship.
The problem, of course, is that any system that aims at influencing behavior in addition to collecting revenue is going to be complicated. If the only goal was collecting taxes, everyone could file something like the 1040EZ. Because we have decided to use the tax code to encourage/subsidize everything from home ownership to the purchase of hybrid vehicles, though, the system is a nightmare.