Tax cheats: The 11% who don't fear the IRS

These respondents told the agency as much to its face, but budget cuts and public distrust of its enforcement tactics won't make it easy to stop them.

By Jason Notte Feb 28, 2013 8:38AM

Income tax numbers at the accountantThinking about cheating on your taxes but just waiting for some sort of sign that it'll work out. Well, 11% of your neighbors say go for it.


The Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board released the results of its telephone poll on Tuesday and discovered -- as it has for several years running -- that roughly 90% of Americans plan to play it by the book this tax season.


These are the kind of folks who'll spackle and paint over every hole in the wall before moving, bring a fistful of singles to a bed and breakfast just in case it has an honor bar for snacks and count every item in their shopping cart before selecting a checkout lane. They're the "cross on the green, not in between" folks.


Then there's the other 11% -- who openly plan to cheat "a little here and a little there" or "as much as possible," according to the survey. These are the folks who ride helmetless on motorcycles or fly in small planes even though they know what happened to Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper. The risk-takers.


While it's still somewhat surprising that any of the 1,500 people surveyed voluntarily tell the IRS that they plan to cheat, general disdain for the tax man's seemingly arbitrary enforcement habits isn't a new development. While 43% of those surveyed said they think the IRS maintains a proper balance between enforcement and taxpayer service, 30% said the agency devotes too many resources to enforcement.


The IRS claims it audits only 1% of all returns. Last year, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that budget and staff cuts at the IRS would mean fewer audits. This year, Business Insider cited TurboTax while claiming that people making more than $1 million were eight times more likely to be audited than anyone else. And Accounting Today notes that whistleblowers are far less likely to help the IRS find audit targets than they've been in the past.


IRS cutbacks mean less customer-service help for those on the straight-and-narrow, and fewer audits mean potentially less tax revenue for everyone. Both also mean folks in the IRS phone survey have little to fear in telling it like it is.


They're the 11%. They're cutting corners, and they're just daring the understaffed, underfunded IRS to do something about it.


More on moneyNOW


Feb 28, 2013 11:55AM
I have the prefect solution. 100% of all taxes for incomes of 45,000 or less ispaid by the 25000-45000 taxpayers and given to the 0-25000 group, a net gain to the taxpayers of zero. Eliminate all tax returns and refund programs under 45000 and the government would save the cost of processing these returns plus do away with the fraud in these programs If the liberal segment of the 25000-45000 group feals bad they can donate to charity
Feb 28, 2013 11:46AM
SOMEONE:It`s clear you get your misinformation from the liers on Fox'
Feb 28, 2013 11:43AM

TAXPAYER 1:Where do you get your crazy ideas.Most blue collar workers are

Democrats.What are they going to deduct their lunch boxes?I `ve done blue

collar and now I own a limo business.Yes, I make more money and pay more

taxes, but I make 10 times more.I have a lot more write offs and deductions.My

clerical workers pay hirer rates.No, I don`t cheat on anything.Your ideas are

just right wing lies.

Feb 28, 2013 11:34AM
It is not only the illegals not reporting what they get paid in cash; there are Americans doing the same thing.  There are even owners of registered companies who will ask customers, once in awhile, to pay them directly instead of writing a check payable to the company name.  This way they do not hav to report all earnings to IRS.  So enough about blaming the illegals and no I do not agree with anyone coming to the U.S. illegally.
Feb 28, 2013 11:26AM
Sadly enough, it's the politicians who allow the illegals into our country for bribes, and the politicians who don't pay taxes!  We are so backward in our economy.  Will there ever be honest people in our government again?
Feb 28, 2013 11:23AM

If you are honest, you have no reason to fear the IRS.  Even if you have made an honest mistake or undergoing an audit, if you believe you did the right thing, there should be no fear.

That's not to say you shouldn't fear additional taxes and penalties!

Feb 28, 2013 11:21AM
Tax cheats? How about government 'legal plunder'. Last time I checked no one on record could find the actual congressional documentation with the majority votes needed to ratify the 16th amendment in 1913. The very premise and validity on which the 16th amendment was founded, instituted and passed is shady and less than honorable at best. The Constitution forbids direct taxes. It clearly states that taxes have to be equal and apportioned per Article I, Sections 2 & 9. The only 'real' Constitutional form of taxation are through excise, indirect  taxes, imposts, duties and tariffs. It can also be argued that it violates the 5th and 13th Amendments. The late and great Aaron Russo argued for someone to show him a legal law forcing people to pay Federal income taxes in his documentary 'America: from Freedom to Fascism'. Bill Benson also pointed this out in his controversial book 'The Law That Never Was' which landed him in jail. Folks, you're not as free as you think you are.
Feb 28, 2013 11:20AM
I would like to know whom is REALLY paying for face books refund of (how many million) of any thing they should be paying 100 percent as they do not provide any product that is taxable. Yes they provide a service but it is not one that I use or ever intend to. I or should i say some of my tax dollars are paying them to exist even longer.
Feb 28, 2013 11:16AM
".... or fly in small planes.."? The risk takers?  Puh-leeze.  Who writes this crap?
Feb 28, 2013 10:26AM
The vast majority of democrats pay so little income taxes , they don't need to cheat. What are they going to do , claim an extra $500 in charitable donantions and reduce their tax by $75? They just keep voting to pay less and receive more. The top 25% pay 88% of the total income taxes. The bottom 50% pay 3%, the entire middle class pays 12%. The dems also make up the vast majority of government dependent moochers.
Feb 28, 2013 10:18AM
I'm betting the Illegals we have here in this country aren't paying their share of taxes either.  How many Illegals who mow lawns, paint houses, do roofing, cut hair, do carpentry, work on cars and all get paid in cash actually let the IRS know about the money they are making?
Feb 28, 2013 9:28AM
Billions lost and you can start with corporations. ie: Dow just lost in a 1 billion dollar fraud. BIG LOOP HOLES OFF SHORE RELATED.and thats the tip of the iceberg.
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