4/14: The Tax Man Cometh… Nearly One in Four Waits to File Tax Returns

McClatchy/Marist National Poll

The clock is counting down for Americans to file their taxes.  But, how many adults nationally wait until the April 15th deadline to submit their returns?  While 76% of residents file their tax returns before the deadline, 24% wait until the very end to submit them.

Click Here for Complete April 14, 2014 McClatchy-Marist Poll Release and Tables

POLL MUST BE SOURCED: McClatchy-Marist Poll

“People who are expecting to get money back are more eager to file earlier,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Those who have to write another check for their tax bill are more likely to wait until the last minute.”

Regardless of when they submit their taxes, a majority of adults — 56% — thinks they pay about the right amount in federal income taxes.  42% believe they pay more than their fair share, and only 1% reports they tender less than their fair share.

There is a partisan divide.  Half of Republicans — 50% — think they pay more than they should while 48% say they write a check for about the right amount.  Among Democrats, 40% report they pay the federal government more than their fair share, and 59% say they pay what they should.  Looking at independents, 43% think they pay too much in federal taxes while 56% think they pay an appropriate amount.

Do Americans expect to receive a refund this year?  61% think they will be sent a check while 36% do not anticipate getting money back.  Three percent are unsure.

There is a gender gap.  Nearly seven in ten men — 69% — report they will get money back from the government.  This compares with 54% of women who say the same.  There are also age differences.  While 64% of residents 18 to 29, 71% of those 30 to 44, and 63% of Americans 45 to 59 think they will receive a refund, 51% of those 60 and older say the same.

Table: Wait Until April 15thto File Tax Returns?

Table: Do You Pay More than Your Fair Share in Taxes?

Table: Do You Expect a Tax Refund?

Leave it to the Pros, Say Half of Americans

Most Americans receive some type of assistance when it comes to doing their taxes.  50% turn to a tax specialist to do their taxes.  17% have a family member or friend help them while 15% use a software package.  However, 18% compute their taxes on their own.

Americans under 30 years old — 36% — are the least likely, compared with their older counterparts, to pay a tax professional to do their taxes.  However, 51% of adults 30 to 44, 47% of those 45 to 59, and 62% of residents 60 and older to turn to a tax specialist to fill out their taxes.

When it comes to the method by which they file their tax returns, three in four Americans — 75% — send them electronically while 25% mail them.

Table: Who Does Your Tax Returns?

Table: Method Used to File Tax Returns

How the Survey was Conducted

Nature of the Sample