More Americans say it's OK to cheat on taxes
The number who advocated cheating 'as much as possible' doubled last year, to 8% of taxpayers. An additional 6% say it's OK to cheat a little.
This post is by Blaire Brody of The Fiscal Times.
Typically, in the Internal Revenue Service's annual Taxpayer Attitude Survey, those bold Americans who tell the IRS it's OK to cheat "as much as possible" on your taxes have made up 5% or less of those surveyed since the question was first asked in 2003 -- until the latest survey.
Whether it was anger with government spending, their economic situation or pure brazenness, that group hit 8% in 2011, double what it was in 2010. An additional 6% said a little cheating here and there is OK.
However, the majority of those surveyed said that paying taxes is "every American's civic duty" and that those who cheat should be held accountable -- with a few exceptions. More Americans felt it was important that the IRS force wealthy taxpayers and corporations to pay their fair share, as opposed to small businesses or low-income taxpayers.
Under the statement "taxpayers should just have to pay what they feel is a fair amount," nearly 30% completely or mostly agreed. (Post continues below video.)
When it comes to the motivation behind paying taxes, the majority of those surveyed cited personal integrity, with the second most-cited reason being the knowledge that third parties are reporting wages and other financial information to the IRS. "Fear of an audit" and belief that your neighbors are reporting and paying honestly were at the bottom.
Despite most Americans' best intentions, the U.S. Treasury claims it loses $250 billion or more a year in tax revenue from unreported income. And 15% of those surveyed in a DDB Worldwide Communications report last year confessed to cheating on their taxes.
Of those, 64% were men, 35% were single and 55% were under the age of 45. Nearly three-fourths of cheaters admitted to working a job under the table. Cheaters were more likely to keep the wrong change from a cashier, lie about their income to qualify for welfare and steal from their own child’s piggy bank (28%).
The sad part is that the cheaters didn’t fudge their taxes for financial reasons -- the DDB survey found that cheaters had similar income levels to honest taxpayers.
More from The Fiscal Times and MSN Money:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Start looking at the cheaters beginning with the Secretary of the Treasury, Turbo Tax Tim, who is in charge of the IRS. And who appointed him? Your esteemed President of course.
Then there is Charles (I forgot about my Caribbean rentals) Rangel, Head of the Ways and Means Committee, that writes the tax law.
The day that the politicians live under and abide by the laws that they create, then I will live under and abide by the laws that they create.
Until that day...
As someone who has never cheated on anything in his life, neither tests, exams nor taxes, I am pretty steamed about the TV ads for accountants who advertise they can drastically reduce the back taxes owed. Excuse me? Isn't that still enabling cheating?
A word of warning. One reason the Greeks got themselves into the fine mess they're in, beyond the overspending, was that anyone who DIDN'T cheat on their taxes was thought a fool. It was so bad even Goldman Sachs had to cook the books for them so the government could cheat in order to finance its debt.
Yes. If we want to avoid winding up like Greece we have to rein in spending and hold government accountable. But we all have to pay our taxes honestly, too. Period.
I find it somewhat amusing that all of these people who are so outraged by Romney paying about 16% of his income as Federal tax were nowhere to be found in 2004 when John Kerry was paying the same rate. At least Romney made his own money. Kerry just married into his.
Either way, it makes no sense and is flat out wrong! And in full disclosure, I am a 1%'er. I lived on scraps for years and sacrificed most of the material things all my peers had while I built my business. Nobody offered to help me while we scraped by. Now all of a sudden I'm greedy because I pay 35% federal income tax, 7% FICA, 1.25% Medicare, 6% state tax, plus 7% FICA on my first $110k of income as a business owner. So before I pay a dime in property or sales tax, I am already on the hook for 51% in various state and federal taxes.
I don't mind paying my fair share, but please don't vilify me as greedy. I would be willing to pay more in taxes as long as everybody does. People like Romney, Kerry and Warren Buffet make their income from capital gains. The easy way to solve the problem is to keep the first $500k or $1 million at the current 15%. This keeps the average joe who sells an asset from getting hammered (besides, the money they invested which appreciated and produced a gain was already taxed as ordinary income before it was invested). Any capital gains between $1 million and $2.5 Million could be taxed at 25% and anything above $2.5 million would be taxed at the highest ordinary income tax rate. This would make sure that billionaires who live off their assets pay decent tax rates.
If you don't understand the difference between capital gains and ordinary income tax rates, you should shut up until you know what you're talking about.
"Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's; and give to God what is God's."
The I R S is at best deceitful itself, and like all government agencies in the U.S. , incompetent and criminal.
Course poltcians like to try to find ways to apply a different set of laws to themselves, then to everyone else....
Oh grow up already. Everyone, and I mean everyone, whether you have millions in investments or just a little tiny bit, pays the 15% long-term capital gains tax. The "rich" are not getting a different lower rate. Do you libs even UNDERSTAND the difference between Earned Income and Investment Income? You invest money with dollars you have already paid taxes on. Do you have a clue why it is important to have all kinds of people, including myself, investing in the market? Do you have a clue that as your Earned Income rises above the 6 figure #, your ability to deduct stuff is phased out, you may likely be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (ATM) which is the biggest rip off in the world, you get to pay full price for your kids' college education, because gee, even if they have a 35 ACT score and a 4.0 GPA, the "poor" kid with the 18 ACT score and a C average gets the government grants (free money) even though they likely won't ever graduate. I could go on and on and on, put when YOU work your a$$ off in school and college to get an engineering degree or other demanding one, and work you a$$ off to advance in your career, and spend countless hours educating yourself about investing, and save, save, save for your gdamn retirement and your kids' college education, then come to me and whine about how people who have made something out of themselves don't pay their "fair" share.
I for one pay my taxes...all of it. I don't want the hassle of an audit.
As to money being wasted by Government....YA...a lot of money is wasted by both parties so you can't point the finger at just one party.
It frustrates me when a politician has folks directly reporting to him that cheat on their taxes or don't pay all of their taxes. It also frustrates me when politicians use inside information or their power to create personal wealth.
@DXZ8643 - Conservatives absolutely believe in equal opportunity. What you are advocating for is equal outcomes (big difference), and THAT is class warfare. Get it?
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