Survey: Work Hours and Resources Not Spared From Tax Preparation

With tomorrow being Tax Day, you might see some procrastinators at your office filling out forms, printing out paperwork, or getting last-minute tax advice from their accountant so they can meet the IRS’s filing deadline. In fact, according to a new Accountemps survey, one in three people believe it is not unusual for employees to spend time on personal income tax preparation during the workday – and use company resources to do it.

Of the 463 employees who participated in the survey, 30 percent said it was very (9 percent) or somewhat (21 percent) common to see their coworkers spending time on tax preparation at work. Forty-five percent didn’t believe it was common at all, while 20 percent reported that it was somewhat uncommon.

Also, 30 percent of survey respondents thought it was very (11 percent) or somewhat (19 percent) common for employees to use company resources – such as a copier, printer, scanner, or mailroom – to complete their income tax paperwork. Forty-eight percent said it was not common at all; 16 percent felt it was somewhat uncommon.

While the lines between work and personal hours have blurred in recent years, Accountemps Chairman Max Messmer said it is never a good idea for employees to use company time or equipment to prepare their taxes.

“Beyond the time-theft issues, it’s risky to have personal financial documents floating around the workplace or stored in your office copier’s hard drive,” he said in a written statement. “Employees shouldn’t go overboard and let productivity suffer because of last-minute tax scrambling.”

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