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People would give up 2.5 days of pay rather than itemize deductions

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If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, that deadline is April 17. The process can be stressful and confusing, especially if you’re itemizing. But how much would you pay to avoid that? Youssef Benzarti, an assistant professor of economics at UCLA, studied our tax system and says people are willing to give up the equivalent of 20 hours — or 2.5 days — of their salary. He found that many taxpayers actually give up that much in tax savings in order to make the whole process shorter and easier. Benzarti joined Marketplace Weekend to discuss that and one of his main findings — that the cost of filing taxes has gone up steadily since the 1980s.

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview. 

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