Getting through tax preparation

Marketplace Staff Apr 8, 2011

Tess Vigeland: The IRS says the average taxpayer needed more than 21 hours to do their return last year — almost a full day! And if their return was complicated, as many as 31.9 hours!

We wondered what gets people through. A cupcake inside a lock box that only opens when you’re done? Nah… turns out our rituals are a bit more mundane.


Woman 1: My tax preparation ritual is to get pumped up about how big my refund is gonna be. But this year, I was disappointed.

Man 1: I use a tax man. My ritual is to call him first thing in January, when I get my W-2s and say, “Ron, we’re ready to get going.

Man 2: Other than stalling? That’s it.

Man 3: Uh… Well, I spend a good chunk of time getting everything in order.

Woman 2: April l5 is my day to celebrate. I’m a retired CPA. I hated doing my own taxes, more than doing anybody else’s. That night, boy, I let loose.

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