Connecticut tax tidbit: shaming scofflaws
My 'real' tax job

Tax time is tax-cheating time

Do you cheat on your taxes?

You can admit it. I won't tell. Promise.

If it makes you feel any better, the IRS Oversight Board's 2009 taxpayer attitude survey found that more folks believe that it's OK to cheat at least a little bit on their taxes.

The good news is that the number of cheaters is still small.

When asked "How much, if any, do you think is an acceptable amount to cheat on your income taxes?" just 13 percent of respondents said they'd have no problem with some false filing.

Oversight board tax cheat excerpt feb10 (1)

And most of those, 9 percent, favored "a little here and there" rather than the 4 percent who support "as much as possible" when it comes to improper tax filing.

The bad news is that the latest pro-tax cheating numbers are up 4 percent from the 2008 survey.

In fact, the OK-to-cheat position is the highest it's been since 2003. That year, 17 percent of surveyed taxpayers said they were fine with a little (12 percent) or a lot (5 percent) of fudging of their taxes. 

Taxes and tough times: It's really not that surprising that the acceptance of tax cheating has gone up. When times are tough, people tend to try to trim their costs any way possible.

Taxes tend to be a relatively acceptable way for folks to pocket a few bucks to which they aren't entitled because of the complexity of the system. Even those who start out with the best of intentions sometimes get frustrated and just say to heck with trying to get it right.

Lawmakers don't do themselves any favors here. Even when they create new laws to provide tax breaks, the actual claiming of the benefits is often time consuming and confusing. Prime examples this filing season are the homebuyer credit, now in its third iteration, and the new Schedules L and M.

So maybe we should be impressed that the vast majority of taxpayers, 84 percent, told the IRS Oversight Board that it's "not at all" OK to cheat on taxes.

Related posts:

Want to tell your friends about this blog post? Click the Tweet This or Digg This buttons below or use the Share This icon to spread the word via e-mail, Facebook and other popular applications. Thanks!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.