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.
Thinking 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.
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.
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!
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