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Americans hate taxes more than cleaning public toilets
They also dislike the task more than changing diapers, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for their in-laws, and a host of other unpleasant things. - photo by Sam Turner
For 60 years, the deadline for income tax returns has fallen in the middle of April. Yet this year, as usual, many Americans will put off filing their taxes until the last possible minute.

It may be because they are "chronic procrastinators," as psychology professor Joe Ferrari told NPR. Or it may because Americans feel the same way about taxes as they do about dirty bathrooms and broken limbs.

A new survey by WalletHub shows just how far Americans are willing to go to avoid doing their taxes.

Those surveyed said they would do the following in exchange for never having to do taxes again:

  • Get an IRS tattoo (27 percent)
  • Move to a different country (16 percent)
  • Clean Chipotle toilets for three years (11 percent)
  • Stop talking for six months (10 percent)
  • Name their firstborn child Taxes (8 percent)
  • Spend a year in prison (4 percent)
It's no secret Americans don't like taxes, but when their distaste outweighs serving prison time, you have to wonder: Why do Americans hate taxes so much?

Survey data from Pew Research Center suggest that what bothers people most about the tax system isn't how much they are paying, but how little others are paying.

According to the survey, only 53 percent of people are bothered by the amount of federal income taxes they pay still a sizable number, but less than expected considering it's taxes we're talking about.

On the other hand, 82 percent of people said they were bothered by the idea that corporations aren't paying their fair share of taxes. And 79 percent thought that rich people don't pay enough taxes either.

This rhetoric of the inequality and unfairness of America's top earners may sound familiar if you have been following the U.S. Democratic primary election.

University of California, Berkeley, history professor Robin Einhorn writes that "no campaign promise works better than the promise to cut taxes," and that statement may have rung true in the past. Now, however, constituents don't want to pay lower taxes they want the rich to pay more.

This may explain why Bernie Sanders' presidential bid against Wall Street and the 1 percent has been so successful.

According to WalletHub, Sanders has the most popular taxation plan. Admittedly, 34 percent of respondents said they had "no idea" which candidate had the most favorable tax plan, but coming in second was Bernie Sanders with 26 percent of respondents.

But Americans dont just hate the idea of the richest people in America not paying enough taxes. They also hate the process of tax preparation. According to WalletHub, Americans would rather do the following than prepare their taxes:

  • Laundry (77 percent)
  • Cook Thanksgiving dinner for their in-laws (47 percent)
  • Change a babys diaper (43 percent)
  • Talk to their kids about sex (35 percent)
  • Fold 100 fitted sheets (32 percent)
  • Miss a connecting flight (23 percent)
  • Spend the night in jail (13 percent)
  • Break their arm (8 percent)
The Sisyphean task of folding fitted sheets alone is enough to illustrate the loathing Americans have for the process of preparing taxes. Part of the reason is that Americans see tax preparation as too complex.

According to Pew, 72 percent of people are bothered by the complexity of the tax system. This number goes up among higher income earners, often because their income and deductions are more complex.

Conveniently, it's often more feasible for higher income earners to hire someone else to prepare their taxes. But there are those who are suspicious of accountants.

According to WalletHub, 20 percent of respondents think tax preparation services are overpriced and 5 percent believe they are a scam.

Additionally, 36 percent said that their biggest tax-day fear was making a mistake. The chances of making a mistake, however, increase the longer you procrastinate doing your taxes, even if you do pay a professional.

"If you give it to your tax pro at the last minute," MSN Money columnist Liz Weston told NPR, "that increases the chances that he or she will make a mistake. So, you know, a little bit of lead time is a really good thing."
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