While it's hard to find people who like doing their taxes, a new poll from OfficeMax adds new perspective to just how loathsome a task it can be: Four out of 10 adults surveyed in its latest "Tax it to me" survey say they think taking a pair of scissors to their own hair is less dangerous than filing their own taxes.
In fact, 60% say they worry about being audited. (In contrast, only 39% fret about a performance review at work, and only 35% worry about getting bad news at their annual medical checkup.)
Less than half (46%) of the people in the Naperville, Ill.-based chain's survey will prepare and file taxes themselves. About 34% will use a professional, and 14% will rely on a friend or family member.
But people are plagued by the same angst, regardless. Procrastination is the major challenge, at 45%, followed by whimwhams about filing taxes correctly (28%), confusion about the process (26%), laziness (23%) and lack of organization (20%) as reasons they may have dropped the ball in getting their taxes completed in a desirable timeline.
Of those who anticipate a refund, 57% say they plan to use it for bills and expenses, while 30% think of it as a reward. And 23% describe it as something "every American deserves."
Interestingly, OfficeMax, which polled a group of preparers in a separate survey, uncovered an entirely different level of accounting agita. That group cited "poor work/life balance, botched sleep schedules, poor eating habits, and problems in personal relationships," the retailer reports. As a result, they say they turn away clients sometimes, typically those with a "questionable or an overly complicated tax situation." Their biggest pet peeves? Some 64% say it's unprepared or careless clients, 36% say it's handling complex tax situations, 23% say it's handling aggressive clients, and 14% say it would be finding new clients.
In general, 74% of the accountants say women are more organized, and 65% say that their older clients -- 45 and up -- are more organized and efficient.