Would Americans rather prep their taxes or have a dental procedure?

Tax preparation forms being filled out for filing
Becky Niiya

Dread and despair. Tax season, spanning January 29 - April 17, can induce these types of feelings for all of us.

To gauge how much Americans dislike this annual rite of passage, a survey conducted for TD Ameritrade asked 1,000 investors which of the following options they'd prefer over preparing their taxes.1

  • 53 percent would rather watch the same movie on repeat
  • 47 percent would rather clean out the garage
  • 35 percent would rather go to the DMV
  • 22 percent would rather sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic
  • 20 percent would rather have a dental procedure
  • 16 percent would rather be stuck in an airport overnight
"I'd definitely go for the dental procedure," says Amber K., a small business owner in Omaha, Neb. "They don't usually last very long and there's often a treatment to make it less painful. That said, my business is pretty straightforward and I have a great accountant so tax season isn't too bad for me this year. Next year could be a different story though because of the tax changes."

For Becky Groves, TD Ameritrade's director of Tax Services, taxes are her year-round passion. "As a tax professional, it's heartening to me that two-thirds of people would rather prepare their taxes than go to the DMV. The IRS wins over the DMV. In all seriousness, tax preparation doesn't have to be such a chore when you take a few simple steps to get over the initial dread and start taking action. For instance, TD Ameritrade's Tax Resource Center provides useful tools to help make this process easier."

TD Ameritrade does not provide tax advice. We suggest you consult with a tax-planning professional with regard to your personal circumstances.

(1)A 13-minute online survey was conducted with 1,006 American adult investors by True North Market Insights, between Jan. 5 and Jan. 10, 2018, on behalf of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. The statistical margin of error for the total sample of N= 1,006 American adults within the target group is +/- 2.6 percent. TD Ameritrade and True North Market Insights are separate and unaffiliated firms and are not responsible for each other's services or policies.

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