Tax season stress: Here’s what Americans would rather do than prepare their taxes

Some Americans really can’t stand the idea of preparing to give their money back to Uncle Sam this tax season and would go to great lengths to avoid tax season entirely if they could.

According to a survey by TD Ameritrade, more than half (53%) of U.S. taxpayers would rather watch the same movie on repeat than prepare their taxes, while nearly the same amount (47%) said they would rather clean out their garage.

Thirty-five percent of the survey’s respondents said they would rather go to the typically dreaded Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and 22% would rather sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic than deal with tax season, which begins in late January and ends April 17. Furthermore, 20% said they’d rather have a dental procedure performed on them and 16% of American taxpayers said they would prefer to be stuck in an airport overnight.


With sweeping tax reform legislation signed into law last December, the survey found 37% of respondents think they’ll get a tax cut this season, while 30% think the savings will be less than $1,000 a year. A bit more than a quarter (26%) of those surveyed said they think they’ll owe money to the government.

Participants said they’d put most (33%) of their tax refund into a savings account and would spend 13% on discretionary items. Only 6% of the refund would go toward investing in the stock market, while 1% would be allocated for paying off student loan debt and another 1% would be given to charity, according to the respondents.

TD Ameritrade conducted the study in January, surveying slightly more than 1,000 individuals.

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