Smart TaxesSmart Taxes

Who cheats on their taxes? Young, single men

The men in this poll don't look like good husband material: They think they're 'special' and would cheat in other situations, too.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 31, 2011 7:14PM

This post is from Matt Brownell at MainStreet. 15% of Americans cheat on their taxes, and those that do are typically young single men.


That’s the finding of a survey conducted by the marketing firm DDB Communications, which asked approximately 6,400 Americans whether they intended to cheat on their taxes. Of the 15% who said yes, a substantial majority -- 64% -- were identified as single, male and under the age of 45.


So what compels these eligible bachelors to swindle Uncle Sam? On the face of it, money issues seem to be a common thread. Forty-two percent insisted they were “one missed paycheck away from disaster,” while just 29% of non-cheaters said the same of their financial situation.


Yet a closer look at the conspiring cheaters suggests that it’s not a simple case of economically-desperate people forced into tax malfeasance. There seems to be an undercurrent of narcissism at play here as well.


Forty-six percent of the cheaters said they were "overall better than most people" (compared with 27% in the non-cheating group), and 52% said they were "special and deserved to be treated that way" (compared with 42% for the non-cheating group). In other words, it seems that those intending to cheat on their taxes are partly motivated by the feeling that they’re entitled to pay less than their fair share.


And as you might expect, the tax cheats aren’t the most honest types to begin with.


Seventy-one percent said they would keep quiet when a cashier made an error in their favor (compared to just 3% of non-cheaters) and more than a third said they would shoplift or file a false insurance claim (compared to 3% and 2% of the non-cheater population, respectively).


So if you’re cheating on taxes, chances are you’re already cheating at life.


More from Main Street and MSN Money:


Mar 31, 2011 11:47PM
I work at a tax prep franchise a few hours a week during tax season. Number one cheaters...... the earned income credit people...... Everyone will think I am being a racist, but the truth of it is that we have a large Marshallese population here. They illegally "spread" the children out to help family members maximize the EIC. The government has literally paid out hundreds of billions of dollars out in illegally claimed earned income credits in the last ten years alone.
Apr 1, 2011 9:15AM
A lot of our Government representatives don't cheat on there taxes, they just don't pay them.

Its kind of hard to cheat on your taxes if you work for somebody and have a ss number. The tax software now is really good. If there was an error the IRS computers pick up on it right away.

The only real chance of cheating today is if you have your own cash business. Everything else leaves a paper trail.

It is just not worth it. The legal ---- storm that you would bring on yourself is stupid!

Mar 31, 2011 10:08PM
S'funny: My first reponse at the question was the employees of the IRS from top to bottom, and that is my second thought as well. Of course, I don't mean everybody, but if I was a gambling man I'd say that there is a higher percentage of IRS employees cheating than those from any other "legitimate" profession.
Apr 1, 2011 9:01AM
By the time you pay income tax, federal & state, sales tax, property tax, taxes on the interest on your savings, and even taxes on your estate when you die, is it any wonder that people would like to balance the scales a little.  And, after all the taxes that are paid mainly by middle income tax-payers, the feds can't  even come close to balancing the budget.  Where are the tax dollars being spent?  The truth is that govt. is far to big and bloated, self-serving, and incompetent to manage the affairs of this country.  God help us if they manage to get another finger into the pie of health care.
Apr 2, 2011 9:52AM
Since the Government singles out young, single, straight men as the enemy, why is it surprising that they don't care about paying their taxes? 
Apr 1, 2011 1:34AM
People see their tax dollars wasted on bailing out rich bankers; they don't believe on funding expensive wars for over 8 years; they see big wigs like the Treasury Sect. and politicians cheating. So, they conclude why don't I give it a try.
Apr 1, 2011 8:20AM

Yes Renee blame it on the evil corporations. You know, the ones that provide you with a job. Let's close them all down. No more cell phones, no more gas at the pump, no more car to drive, no more airline to fly on (GE makes those engines), no more morning Starbucks. Shut em all down I say.  Or at least tax them to death so they can't survive.


Sleazy lawyers don't create loopholes, sleazy politicians that you elect do. Getting something back at tax time is a joke. It's your money if you get it back, not a gift. I would rather pay at tax time than give the government an interest free loan all year.

No mention of the following TAX CHEATS: Prostitutes who work for cash. Illegal betting. Extortionists. Bartering. Money laundering. Selling a house (or property) and not reinvesting in like property). Gifts (corporate or otherwise) via "brothers/sisters." Illegal charities (there are not many - a form of laundering). Building 1000's of houses for no reason other than to wash money to pay taxes for the purpose of paying officials. And, a really big one: THE ILLEGAL DRUG TRADE!
Apr 1, 2011 6:09AM
What does this retarded Government expect when they knowingly allow G.E not to pay 1 cent in taxes on billions in profit lol.G.E has obviously lined some pockets in Washington.
Apr 4, 2011 1:06PM

Not too hard to tell from the responses who the cheats are.... Stop rationalizing.  A thief is a thief is a thief.  Because so and so does it, does not mean it's any less of a crime.


Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

Mar 31, 2011 10:41PM

Maybe the young men are just more honest about tax cheating.  Cheating on taxes is endemic with small business owners, they just consider it their just due and rationalize that it is not cheating.  The wealthiest do not need to cheat as the government provides them a nifty list of handy tax breaks. 

If you accept that young men are the most frequent tax cheats, they still will not represent a large proportion of the dollars.  "Follow the money"

Apr 1, 2011 12:21AM
I'm still more concerned about the 50% of the tax filing population that doesn't even pay taxes in the end. The people that get back more money than they even paid for the year (or didn't pay into at all). Let's get rid of back door welfare via the IRS first. Second, let's make everyone pay a flat percentage of their earnings. Why should people that make more have to pay a larger percentage of their income? That's not fair, that's not capitalism, that's not democracy, that's socialism.
Apr 1, 2011 9:22AM
Trying to keep money that you have earned from being stolen and used for purposes repugnant to you is rational behavior. This article is a sycophantic piece of garbage.
Apr 6, 2011 4:32AM

Tim Geithner  and Rahm Emanuel get to why can't everyone else.


Mar 31, 2011 10:57PM
Apr 2, 2011 8:43PM
I'd LIKE to cheat on taxes, but just won't do it.  Honesty is always the best policy even though the government took 40% of my income last year in income taxes---and that's starting with the first dollar.   I don't like cheaters because honest folks end up paying for their lying, criminal thievery.    And to the single poster who said the single tax rates are the worst---he's wrong.  The "marriage penalty" still exists, meaning a couple filing joint pays more income tax than 2 single people with the exact same income. 
Apr 1, 2011 12:45PM
Consider this, young single males which includes myself - probably are renters, have no dependants, and have very little legit deductions. The tax code is already stacked against us. The case could therefore be made it costs more to be single. No one to share the  cost of housing, and food, and very little deductions that is afforded to those who ask the government permission to love someone else. 

The only fair share is 0%. 

Apr 4, 2011 12:54PM
I'm going to pretend to run a similar study. Only when people say they will cheat, I will determine their identify and report them to the IRS. I will be helping the government catch cheats and helping myself when I get the reward on whatever they recover.
Apr 1, 2011 6:45AM
Thats our "New World Order" RENEE LOVE don't you just love it lol.Have you picked out your overpass to live under yet,I'm looking for one.I don't no how much longer I can keep pissing in the fan.Its getting to be impossible to keep up with my house payments,property taxes and bills ect. lol.Our fearless leaders have us in self destruct mode.Have you noticed how quiet Russia and China have been lately.They are loving watching the USA crash and burn.
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