Survey: Millennials fear filing tax returns

Millennials fear preparing their taxes more than any other generation.

- None of us like paying taxes, but a nerdwallet.com survey of more than 2,000 Americans found that millennials feared preparing their taxes more than any other generation.

"Millennials are absolutely intimidated by paying their taxes and the IRS because their parents have been helping them with money forever," said Jason Dorsey, a millennials researcher and co-founder of the Center for Generational Kinetics. Dorsey, a millennial himself, blames his generation's dread of taxes on its relative lack of real-world experience.

"When you interview a millennial who's 24 like we do in our studies, they may have only been in the workforce two or three years," he said. "Whereas other generations may've been in the workforce eight years."

Dorsey added: "We don't want to get it wrong and what makes that bad is that some millennials have chosen not to file, so they don't get it wrong."

But by not filing any taxes, millennials probably get it more wrong than they would by making almost any unintentional tax-filing mistake.

"The government might find out you're not reporting your taxes and will simply file your tax return for you, in which case you're going to get a tax bill," said Yigal Rechtman, a principal at Grassi and Co. prepares the taxes of many millennials. "Some of them have misconceptions that if they're not an employee somehow they can live tax-free."

Millennials also tend to hold more freelance, part-time, and one-time jobs than members of other generations.

But fear, confusion, and intimidation offer no tax-breaks. So just as every era of Americans before them did,  millennials will learn to endure and overcome the resentment and perplexity of giving a portion of their earnings to the government.  It just might take them a little longer.

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