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We hate our taxes so much, we found the worst ways to get out of paying them

Weight ain’t nothing but a number, and young Americans would rather watch that number climb than pay up to Uncle Sam.

If Americans could get out of paying taxes, they’d allow some pretty embarrassing things to do so — like gain an extra 20 pounds, or let their credit score drop by 50 points, says. Millennials are the most willing to gain extra weight to avoid paying taxes.

More specifically, young millennials — those 18-24 year-olds — would rather gain weight if it meant they didn’t have to pay up. But it’s Gen Xers that might be causing the most self-harm. They are the age group most willing to lower their credit score by 50 points, or sacrifice half of their retirement savings to get out of paying taxes.

While these are a bit on the extreme side — 13 percent of all respondents said they’d gain weight to avoid taxes — says Americans would do some other embarrassing things instead.

One-third of respondents opted to perform five karaoke songs in front of their co-workers if it meant they wouldn’t have to pay. Our question is: Who gets to choose the songs?

Among the total findings, Americans would:

  • Perform 5 karaoke songs for your company — 32 percent
  • Go without Wi-Fi for 1 year — 18 percent
  • Have your credit score reduced by 50 points — 16 percent
  • Gain 20 pounds — 13 percent
  • Have your web browsing history made public — 11 percent
  • Be stuck with skunk stench for 6 months — 5 percent
  • Give up half of your retirement savings — 5 percent

Southern pride stands out

How old you are seems to play a role in how you’d choose your answers, but so does your location.

The survey says Northeasterners are most excited about singing karaoke in front of their co-workers, at 41 percent. But Southerners aren’t as stoked, with only 29 percent choosing this option. Twenty-one percent of Southerners would rather lose 50 points on their credit score, more than any other demographic.

Southerners are more likely to choose gaining weight to avoid paying taxes, too, as 15 percent of respondents opted for this. Westerners were more likely to go Wi-Fi free, as 21 percent would choose getting rid of Wi-Fi for a year if it meant they didn’t have to pay taxes.

The good news: you probably don’t have to pay up

While the hilarious hypothetical question may get you thinking what you’d do to get out of paying your taxes, you may be happy to know that the majority of Americans don’t have to pay money to Uncle Sam. In fact, two-thirds of Americans are eligible for refunds, meaning the government will pay you.

Aside from getting money back, most Americans are planning to stash away most of the cash (presumably for karaoke lessons later) instead of splurging on something wasteful.

If you are planning to spend it, it’s probably on something like a debt or everyday expenses. Plus, it turns out that the more money you make, the more money you’ll put into savings, like an IRA or other retirement account. Unfortunately, as much as we’re trying to save our tax returns, they aren’t helping us get out of debt.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Credit & Debt

IRS, save money, tax debt, tax returns

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