Would Someone Date You After Seeing Your Taxes?

The inspiration for today’s post came from a very random place.  I recently added a new podcast that answers listener questions, usually about relationships.  One question was whether it is appropriate to ask someone out on a date in her place of work (like your waitress at a restaurant, for example).  The hosts tried to think of various service relationships that come up in everyday life and how the customer might go about asking out the person helping him – such as a cashier or a bank teller.


1040One of their examples was how to ask out your tax preparer – that one really got me thinking!  Imagine you were a tax preparer and after helping someone with their personal income taxes you received an email from him asking you out on a date.  Assuming that you had a reasonably good personal rapport during your time working together, would you let your answer be influenced by his tax return?  And what about his tax return would sway you, if anything?


I have to say I would probably keep the info I gained from the tax return in mind when deciding if I would want to date the person!  (That is, unless that violates professional ethics or something – I’m speaking as a layperson.)  Actually, as I’ve never worked with a tax preparer I don’t know what all is covered in those conversations, so let’s say I just had access to the potential date’s finished tax return.  I would look at a few key points – income (stability, not magnitude so much), rate of saving for retirement, rate of giving, student loan interest deductions, home ownership, dependents, health expenditures.  I don’t think I would rule out a date with anyone because one of those factors didn’t go the way I wanted it to – especially if there is a lack of evidence i.e. not itemizing deductions – but maybe if all of them went the wrong way I would decline.  For instance, if the person has a high income but there is no evidence of saving or giving that would be a red flag.


Now let’s turn the tables and say that my tax return was the one being examined.  What would our hypothetical tax preparer be able to tell about me that might influence his decision to date me?


What People Can Tell about Me from My Tax Return


1) I’m married filing jointly.  Oops.  Probably that would squash any dating.


2) I have a low income from one source.  Definitely my income is low enough that it might be a turn-off for some people.  But then again, my income is W-2 so I guess that shows my job is stable.  Not having side hustles may indicate (especially if I’m being compared to other PF bloggers) that I am lazy or not ambitious or something.


3) I am a grad student.  That’s under “occupation” right at the bottom of the 1040!  It doesn’t specifically state that I’m pursuing a PhD, though.  I’m thinking about all those articles I’ve seen on how highly educated or powerful women have terribly low rates of long-lasting marriage.  Supposedly men being intimidated by highly educated women is a thing (I’m thankful I don’t know about this firsthand) so that might rule me out as a potential date.


What People Can’t Tell About My from My Tax Returns


Because we don’t itemize our deductions, a lot of stuff that would show up on other people’s returns don’t on ours.  You can’t tell that we tithe based on our federal return, only from our state return. Because we contribute to our retirement accounts after taxes, our Roth IRAs don’t affect our returns at all.  You also wouldn’t be able to tell if we own or rent.  Basically, I think you can’t get a very good handle on whether or not we budget or overspend or whatever – there’s just a lack of information.


My conclusion is that I would use the knowledge from the tax return a little bit to rule out dates in extreme cases, but I don’t think our tax return provides much material to rule me in our out for dates (except the income issue).


If you saw a potential date’s tax return, what info would you use to decide if you want to go out with him?  What would someone know about your finances/life based on your tax return?


photo from Free Digital Photos


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28 Responses to "Would Someone Date You After Seeing Your Taxes?"

  1. Personally, I’ve always found the idea of basing your decision of how much you like somebody on the state of their finances to be somewhat offensive. My return doesn’t show much of anything at all; it pretty much reveals that I have a boring middle-class existence, which fortunately happens to be my goal in life. 🙂
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..Does Car Sharing Present a Moral Hazard?

    1. Emily says:

      Hm, I’m thinking of this differently. The return wouldn’t change how much I liked anyone but I’m saying that it might change whether or not I pursue a relationship with him by going out on a date (in an extreme case). Plus, some of the things I mentioned that you may find out are not financial at all but point to stage of life or values. If I were single I wouldn’t want to date someone who has a kid. Since I plan to move out of the area, I might accept a date with a homeowner but I would try to suss out early on if he was open to moving.

      Huzzah for a boring middle-class existence!

  2. After how much student loan interest I apply deductions for, if I were single, most tax preparers would probably run for the woods, lol!
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted..Monday Morning Rant — Is it that hard to take out your trash?

    1. Emily says:

      I don’t think everyone feels that way about student debt! It can be good, depending on the degree obtained (which wouldn’t appear on the 1040). Do you think it would be more of a turnoff for someone without any student loan debt or someone with a lot?

  3. Yeah, that #1 there is kind of the sticking point for me, thank goodness.
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted..Confession: Sometimes the checkbook doesn’t balance

    1. Emily says:

      Yeah I’m glad I’m past the dating stage. And that I was too young when I was dating to care about 1040s. 🙂

  4. What an interesting question! I agree that income and what that person did with the income would, for better or worse, probably factor into the decision. But I find that the concepts of personal finance are sufficiently easy that I think anyone can pick them up and improve if he or she really wants to. I don’t think anything on the tax return would be a true deal breaker, so to speak. But, if I were single, it would be nice to see what I’d be getting into ahead of time!
    Done by Forty recently posted..Should I Buy Investment Property Locally?

    1. Emily says:

      I definitely think that people can change their PF practices (though not that you can necessarily change anyone else) so no one is a hopeless case. But I think I might use it to determine that I wouldn’t be a good match with the person at this time/stage in our lives. Like maybe if you’re unemployed you shouldn’t be dating, you should be finding a job?? That’s a possibility. It would be nice to have a heads-up about potential issues, but I guess you can get the same info by conversing. 🙂

  5. Lucas says:

    maybe. . .? I helped my then GF now wife had me do her taxes for her before we got married and I was glad we were on the same page with giving. I know her line or work would never pay particularly well, but I can’t ever remember really thinking about that as a factor.

    So maybe if it revealed something different from a belief/value standpoint.

    1. Emily says:

      That’s interesting that you were almost in this situation exactly. Had you had lots of talks about finances before helping with her taxes?

      1. Lucas says:

        We had talked/agreed on a couple things – giving 10%, staying out of debt, and living on 1 income if you want kids (assuming one person would stay home). But beyond that didn’t have much of a plan at that point in our lives. Seems silly now, but looking back she tells me she was slightly worried that I had $3k in school loans as she had worked her way through college without any loans.

        1. Emily says:

          OK so it seems like it wouldn’t have been that awkward to work on taxes together since you had laid out your values at least.

  6. It would be much more worthwhile to see someone’s credit card bill than their tax return. $19,000 worth of high interest consumer debt? Dating – maybe friends with benefits if they’re cute and only until I find someone who understands the concept of fiscal responsibility. Marriage – never.

    After credit card bills, I’d like to see tax returns. As that’s probably the best proxy for an itemized list of their income and investments. I don’t think I’d make many judgments off of a tax return unless they were unemployed and not in school.
    My Financial Independence Journey recently posted..Clorox (CLX) Dividend Stock Analysis

    1. Emily says:

      Hm, yes I agree seeing a credit card statement would be very telling, particularly regarding carrying a balance. I don’t think I would rule anyone out of a date just based on a credit card statement, unless they were at Michael Scott levels of spending.

  7. SarahN says:

    Oh my, in Australia we do our taxes from 1 July til October. So I just had my tax appointment, and it was NOT what I expected. I’m not sure I’ll stay with this new accountant… They didn’t really ask me anything, and didn’t ‘do’ anything whilst I was there, they basically just told me they’d send me this ‘great’ spreadsheet. It was not great. Anyhow, it’s all lodged now, so in two weeks, I’ll have a 4 figure return, and be done with them!

    So, I wouldn’t want to date my tax agent, no matter how appealing I might look to them :p But, the other way around… I think, for me, there’s something more the financial parallels that makes for a ‘spark’ which is the start of a relationship. That being said, I am thankful the BF is on the same page as me with debt, spending, saving and just general money management, but even with all this, without the ‘spark’ I’d have passed him by. And, can I explain the ‘spark’ – not really, but you know when it’s there!
    SarahN recently posted..A new (blogging) home

    1. Emily says:

      Sorry to hear their spreadsheet was disappointing! Well, new year, new accountant, I guess.

      ITA about having chemistry with someone. But not everyone you have chemistry with is a suitable partner!

      1. SarahN says:

        I agree – chemistry isn’t the be all and end all – but some really nice, good on paper people are also rejected for the lack of chemistry, sadly 🙁 Must catch up on your newest post
        SarahN recently posted..Moving day tips list

  8. I’m all for disclosing financial information before you get serious, but I’m curious if anyone has actually asked (or been asked) to show their tax returns.
    Well Heeled Blog recently posted..The I Love Cocktails Budget

    1. Emily says:

      Haha, it’s probably pretty rare! I think it would be quite invasive to ask to see the document, but if it was the first thing you knew about the person… Why not consider it? 🙂

  9. Haha. Married filing jointly… that is definitely a deal breaker in the dating world.
    Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa recently posted..Government Statistics Analyzed: Most People are on the Wrong Repayment Plan

    1. Emily says:

      One would hope!

  10. I’m not sure if somebody would date me after seeing my taxes. They’d see that I work a lot – not only do I have a full time job but I also make income from self employment. I file jointly as well, and don’t give to charity nearly enough. My income looks really high though because of our tenant, so you never know, that may be intriguing to some!
    Daisy @ Young Finances recently posted..3 Reasons Why Kim Kardashian Has More Assets Than You

    1. Emily says:

      I think having multiple income sources would be attractive, unless they’re thinking that leaves little time for dating!

  11. Shani B says:

    I laughed so hard at this because this past tax season was my first single one in 15 years. Yes I’ve been hit on and flirted with by my clients but I never took it serious, I was flattered. This year this scenario was put on the table enough times that I can say that it DOES make a difference, CALL ME SHALLOW IF YOU’D LIKE. I need someone who is financially content, has pretty good job security, is thinkin about their future (Investments, IRA’s/401K, etc.)

    1. Emily says:

      Wow, I can’t believe you were in this exact situation! Thanks for adding your perspective and I don’t think you’re shallow!

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