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 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 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 11:21AM
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 11:16AM
".... or fly in small planes.."? The risk takers?  Puh-leeze.  Who writes this crap?
Feb 28, 2013 1:36PM
We'd move much closer to utopia if the US would stop torturing its citizens with income taxes. We can keep the tax burden progressive (make it truly progressive) if we simply get rid of the income tax and replace it with a retail sales tax. The rich still spend the most money and therefore will pay the most taxes. As well, we could eliminate nearly a trillion dollars the US spends on compliance and enforcement every year. The people would be free-er and the government's spending would be tied to the real economy and citizens would no longer need to go to jail for not checking in with (and paying off) the banking system every year.
Feb 28, 2013 11:56AM

cheat all you can the illegals are doin it for years no taxes, they drive nice cars and buy homes with cash what america its illegal america , born and raised here i never got one break on taxes but i can come here from mexico and break the law and pay no taxes but thats ok mr obama says id like to move to another country and do that but id be put in jail for breakin the law and throw the key away

Feb 28, 2013 12:54PM
Just read in my magazine that facebook will report 1.1 billion dollar pretax profit and will pay no federal or state taxes and expects 429 million refund. Sure im not going to cheat on my taxes.
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 12:29PM
and get food stamps, free heath care in the emergency room, WIC,  and other government programs
Feb 28, 2013 12:37PM

Anyone dumb enough to answer a phone survey and state that they would stretch or cheat is deserving of an audit.  Have they not heard of caller ID. 

Feb 28, 2013 1:56PM
maybe if the tax system was fair to all and reasonable. also if the government showed a little bit of restraint while wasting our money then people would not feel the urge to cheat.. however since our government is out of control i can understand why they do cheat ..
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 1:30PM
Add People who own junk car places and sell repair parts.  People especially Indian foreigners owning motels.  How many 'parts' were sold or rooms rented?
Demos are elected by parasites(tax users). Demos don't care about that. They have their cushy lifetime jobs. Limit congress to eight years.

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 3:03PM
The 11% who said they weren't afraid of the IRS are Government employees who don't need to pay their taxes. Charlie Rangel, Timmy Geithner, Claire McCaskill, and John "Skipper" Kery (our illustrious Secretary of State) , etc........ 
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 12:12PM

TAXPAYER 1&SOMEONE: You`ll both be in a better mood when your welfare ckeck

arrives Friday.

Feb 28, 2013 3:07PM

Or how about free Social Security for the illegal's when they turn 65 and they never paid a dime into the Social Security system ever.  All they need to do is visit the US use a relative's address and get a SS card, cross the border to return and not stamp their passport and wham. . . they get SS when they turn 65. What a great scan. . . .Taxes are the least of our worries, they are draining us in SS and Medicare. Thank you democarates for making it so easy for them.  


Social Security Facts

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social (FICA) program.  He promised. . . .

1. Participation in the program would be completely voluntary.

2.  Participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual    incomes into the program.

3.  The money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year.

4.  The money the participants put into the independent “Trust Fund” rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other government program.

5.  The annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.


 Which political party took Social Security from the independent “Trust Fund” and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

Answer:  It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House

               and Senate.

Which political party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security? (FICA) withholding?

Answer:  The Democratic Party.

Which political party started taxing Social Security annuities?

Answer:  The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the “tie-breaking” deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was VP of the US.


Which political party decided to start giving annuity payment to immigrants?

This is my favorite. . . .

Answer:  That’s right!  Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party of course! 

               Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive

               Social Security payments!  The Democratic Party gave these payments to

               them, even though they never paid a dime into it.

Then, after doing all this lying and thieving and violating of the original contract (FICA)

The Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your

Social Security away!  And the worst part about it is uniformed citizens believe it!






BULLSH!T, we Americans are taxed to death in this country at every goddamn turn no matter how much money you make. Our so called leaders waste at least three quarters of it on lobbyists, corporate welfare and lining their pockets with under the table deals. Remember Tricky D!ck Junior, aka D!ck Cheney and Halliburton, which used to be headquartered in the great state of Texas. Now it's headquartered in Dubai, after Cheney and his ilk finished gunning the cash register through war profiteering, off the backs of our fighting men and women in our military, does that tell you anything !  They don't even try and hide their disgusting behavior anymore and they don't bother using any KY Jelly when they ram the money c*ck up our collective a$$es. This vile garbage has to cease and our so called leaders need to be held accountable, regardless of who they are and what
 office they held !
Feb 28, 2013 3:21PM
My wife is a teacher, she has two students that are new immigrants to our country. they get free lunch, section 8 housing, and of course food stamps. The poor mother drives a 2012  Mercedes and the husband just got his 2013 Lexis, they told my wife they are taking the kids out of school for two weeks to vacation in the OLD country, is America great!
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