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A third of Americans like doing their taxes

A pedestrian walks by a sign outside of a Liberty Tax Services tax preparation office in San Francisco, Calif.

This final note today, from the Marketplace Desk of I Don't Know What is Wrong With You People.

I'm referring to a new survey from the Pew Center for the People and the Press out today, in which I was astounded to learn that 34 percent -- 34 percent! -- of my fellow Americans "like or love" doing their taxes.

Now, I'm as ready as the next guy to pay what I owe -- more, if necessary. But love or even like the experience?

I'd rather have a root canal.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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Using software to assist (and not having to write the spreadsheet myself, as I did back in the Dark Ages) makes it moderately painless, and the instructions have gotten MUCH better than they used to be (which was always my own worst concern.)

And now that I've been through my first audit (which saved me a very large chunk of change -- I'd forgotten to claim some substantial losses), that's even less scary than it once was.

Sure, I'd be happier if the government taxed my employer and investments directly and I didn't have to get involved in handling money which was, really, never mine in the first place. But that's the tradeoff we accept in exchange for having special treatment of mortgages and charitable deductions, and in exchange for using tax policy as another way of achieving social good. If it takes me a couple of hours a year to maintain those benefits, I can live with that.

I may quibble with how my tax moneys are spent, but I don't object to being taxed. That's the cost of having a society that's worth living in.

Kai, don't you think it is possible that some people are afraid of telling a survey caller that they don't like doing taxes or the IRS? I find more people fear our taxman than the CIA. And -- they believe the IRS has more reason to have it in for them! (Personally I am a fan of doing the 1040, on paper, with a pencil and a calculator. I also know I am a quirky, unusual person!)

I honestly don't think I know anyone who fears the IRS. Not saying it doesn't happen, but I suspect that's about as realistic a fear as expecting the black helicopters to land on your lawn and cart you away.

Count me in the hate camp. I monitor and manage my personal finances and don't need to work as an unpaid employee of the IRS learn how I'm doing.

File me in the love camp. I look at doing my taxes as an annual exam for my finances.

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