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(Daily Mail)   New poll says that 87% of Americans say it's never okay to cheat on your taxes. The other 13% have accountants   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 28
    More: Interesting, Americans, standard deduction, Fordham University, income taxes  
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649 clicks; posted to Business » on 28 Feb 2013 at 10:31 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



28 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-02-28 10:35:14 AM  
They're not cheating, they're just power-gaming.
 
2013-02-28 10:45:36 AM  
Asking an accountant to help you cheat on your taxes is like asking a referee to help you commit a penalty.
 
2013-02-28 11:10:30 AM  
The telephone poll of 1,500 randomly chosen adults was sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board,

Yeah, people are sure to answer honestly when somebody that obviously has their phone number calls, says they are from the IRS, and asks if you think it is ever OK to cheat on your taxes.

/Can't say that I ever have, but I'm poor so there isn't much opportunity to do so
 
2013-02-28 11:22:23 AM  
So, 13% of Americans think they're in the 1%.  Explains a lot.
 
2013-02-28 11:26:09 AM  

buzzcut73: The telephone poll of 1,500 randomly chosen adults was sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board,

Yeah, people are sure to answer honestly when somebody that obviously has their phone number calls, says they are from the IRS, and asks if you think it is ever OK to cheat on your taxes.

/Can't say that I ever have, but I'm poor so there isn't much opportunity to do so


Basically, 13% of Americans are so dumb that they will admit that they think tax-cheating is okay to the IRS.

I believe it.
 
2013-02-28 11:31:32 AM  
Most people don't pay any income tax, or some trivial amount.  As a result, they never really had any incentive to even consider fibbing to Uncle Sam.  I think it is a safe bet that of those who pay a sizable amount in taxes, more than 13% are okay with it.
 
2013-02-28 11:44:09 AM  

LoneWolf343: buzzcut73: The telephone poll of 1,500 randomly chosen adults was sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board,

Yeah, people are sure to answer honestly when somebody that obviously has their phone number calls, says they are from the IRS, and asks if you think it is ever OK to cheat on your taxes.

/Can't say that I ever have, but I'm poor so there isn't much opportunity to do so

Basically, 13% of Americans are so dumb that they will admit that they think tax-cheating is okay to the IRS.

I believe it.


This. No right-minded person will admit to tax cheating in any sort of poll.
 
2013-02-28 12:01:10 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: Most people don't pay any income tax, or some trivial amount.  As a result, they never really had any incentive to even consider fibbing to Uncle Sam.  I think it is a safe bet that of those who pay a sizable amount in taxes, more than 13% are okay with it.


Gonna need a citation. Just remember that that amount you might consider 'trivial' is likely not trivial to a person with an income low enough to be paying that amount. For instance, a single person making $20 an hour last year probably paid 5k in federal withholding and probably another $2300 in ss and medicare. trivial? I don't think so.
 
2013-02-28 12:21:39 PM  
Remember kids

Tax EVASION is illegal, tax AVOIDANCE is legal.
 
2013-02-28 12:43:27 PM  
I'm sure each and every one of that 87% report everything they bought online and pay the appropriate sales tax...

/didn't think so
 
2013-02-28 12:53:02 PM  

AbsentFriends: I'm sure each and every one of that 87% report everything they bought online and pay the appropriate sales tax...

/didn't think so


When I buy stuff online, I've tended to buy from companies that charge the appropriate sales tax for New York.  Plus, I have the feeling this article was talking about federal income tax, and not state income taxes.

/  By the way, I did accurately report my sales/use tax to New York last year.
// Did actual cost, not the tables that grossly overestimate my out-of-state purchases that would be sales-taxable in New York.
/// Been procrastinating on taxes this year.
 
jgi
2013-02-28 12:53:40 PM  
You don't even have to cheat. There are plenty of loopholes.
 
2013-02-28 01:00:49 PM  
Now if we only had a study on the percentage of people who find cheating on their spouse acceptable.
 
2013-02-28 01:12:39 PM  
I would bet more than 87% of people have no idea what the proper forms they need, or the correct way to fill them out.
 
2013-02-28 01:15:11 PM  

JohnBigBootay: Pumpernickel bread: Most people don't pay any income tax, or some trivial amount.  As a result, they never really had any incentive to even consider fibbing to Uncle Sam.  I think it is a safe bet that of those who pay a sizable amount in taxes, more than 13% are okay with it.

Gonna need a citation. Just remember that that amount you might consider 'trivial' is likely not trivial to a person with an income low enough to be paying that amount. For instance, a single person making $20 an hour last year probably paid 5k in federal withholding and probably another $2300 in ss and medicare. trivial? I don't think so.


Yes, but then you get back significantly more than you paid.  You could cheat, but it's hard to cheat in ways that actually matter in significant amounts.

/Made $20K, paid about $4.5K in taxes including SS, and medicare, getting about $5.5K back
//3 moves, $2,500 refundable tax credit for tuition that I never paid (because of the way support is defined, the 14K that Mom paid is less than half my support, and thus the tuition credit is mine, all mine).
///Also, MA lets you deduct half your rent, and apparently treats mass transit as a tax credit?
 
2013-02-28 01:20:30 PM  
87% say it is never right, but many of them do it all the same. Their powers of rationalization may be strong enough to handle the contradiction between their opinion and their actions. Mind you, a considerable number of the 1.6 million people who cheat on their taxes are in the 13% who think it is sometimes OK to cheat Uncle Sam.

Source of 1.6 million cheaters estimate:   http://www.statisticbrain.com/how-many-people-cheat-on-taxes/

This is a surprisingly low number. Mind you, it's not easy to fill out the forms correctly. I always do my taxes twice or three times and I still come up with the wrong numbers every time. And my taxes are about as simple as they can be.
 
2013-02-28 02:05:23 PM  

meyerkev: Yes, but then you get back significantly more than you paid. You could cheat, but it's hard to cheat in ways that actually matter in significant amounts.

/Made $20K, paid about $4.5K in taxes including SS, and medicare, getting about $5.5K back
//3 moves, $2,500 refundable tax credit for tuition that I never paid (because of the way support is defined, the 14K that Mom paid is less than half my support, and thus the tuition credit is mine, all mine).
///Also, MA lets you deduct half your rent, and apparently treats mass transit as a tax credit?


Yeah, sure, if you are making $10 an hour and have a child you probably won't pay much tax at all. My example was a single person with no child who makes double what you make. I assure there's not a substantial percentage of people making $20 an hour who get 5k tax refunds unless their withholding was set up by a simpleton.
 
2013-02-28 02:26:19 PM  

JohnBigBootay: meyerkev: Yes, but then you get back significantly more than you paid. You could cheat, but it's hard to cheat in ways that actually matter in significant amounts.

/Made $20K, paid about $4.5K in taxes including SS, and medicare, getting about $5.5K back
//3 moves, $2,500 refundable tax credit for tuition that I never paid (because of the way support is defined, the 14K that Mom paid is less than half my support, and thus the tuition credit is mine, all mine).
///Also, MA lets you deduct half your rent, and apparently treats mass transit as a tax credit?

Yeah, sure, if you are making $10 an hour and have a child you probably won't pay much tax at all. My example was a single person with no child who makes double what you make. I assure there's not a substantial percentage of people making $20 an hour who get 5k tax refunds unless their withholding was set up by a simpleton.


I was making $30/hour + time and a half.

/I also only worked for 3 months, which is one of the reasons why I get so much cash back.  Big difference in tax rates between $6K/month and $20K/year.
 
2013-02-28 02:49:28 PM  

JohnBigBootay: Pumpernickel bread: Most people don't pay any income tax, or some trivial amount.  As a result, they never really had any incentive to even consider fibbing to Uncle Sam.  I think it is a safe bet that of those who pay a sizable amount in taxes, more than 13% are okay with it.

Gonna need a citation. Just remember that that amount you might consider 'trivial' is likely not trivial to a person with an income low enough to be paying that amount. For instance, a single person making $20 an hour last year probably paid 5k in federal withholding and probably another $2300 in ss and medicare. trivial? I don't think so.


I think Pumpernickel is talking about absolute vs. relative amounts of taxes paid.  Your scenario has someone with 40k annual income who would end up paying about 10% in taxes (4k) and we will assume not many exemptions (investments, carried losses on business, etc).

Now take a millionaire who pays 10% in taxes, that is $100,000.

Both paid 10% but I imagine the person who paid 100k would have more incentive to find 'creative' ways to reduce their burden since the absolute pay off is larger than the person making 40k.

Say both cheated to get their taxes down to 5%, and both are exposed to the same risks of getting caught.  For the 40k person, is 2k worth the potential penalties?  For the millionaire, is $50,000 worth the risk?  It may be a matter of risk vs. reward.

Also, can the 40k person afford to pay a lawyer to get the penalties reduced compared to the millionaire?  also see: Tim Geithner (sp?)
 
2013-02-28 02:49:50 PM  

dragonchild: Asking an accountant to help you cheat on your taxes is like asking a referee to help you commit a penalty.


Ha! Every once in a while, I'll have a prospective client who asks me to help them find ways to cheat. The aren't usually that obvious about it, but they'll say things like, "What if I tack on an additional $5,000 in medical expenses. How would the IRS know?" It's kind of ridiculous that they can't see the situation from my point of view - why the hell would I risk my license, reputation and career to help some idiot save a few hundred bucks?

Protip for taxpayers: If you are serious about saving money on your taxes, see your CPA/EA/tax professional at the beginning of the year for advice for that coming year. Once the tax year is over, the options available for lowering taxes for the previous year shrink considerably.
 
2013-02-28 02:51:15 PM  

Saiga410: Now if we only had a study on the percentage of people who find cheating on their spouse acceptable.


Well, I polled your wife last night...I don't think you will want to know the results.
 
2013-02-28 02:51:43 PM  
fark you, I would if I could.

I got a "correction" from the IRS for 2011's taxes.  I mis-input a couple things, and because of that the IRS has taken away credits I was supposed to get, even with the corrected numbers.   So now they're trying to cheat me out of money.

/This sucks
//Meeting with accountant on Saturday
///Have a feeling this year's taxes are going to be unpleasant as well.
 
2013-02-28 04:00:59 PM  

AbsentFriends: I'm sure each and every one of that 87% report everything they bought online and pay the appropriate sales tax...

/didn't think so


MA has a safe harbor line to estimate taxes paid for out of state purchases. I've paid it for the past few years after I found out about it.

I had to manually edit forms in TT until this year.
 
jvl
2013-02-28 05:03:59 PM  
Meanwhile in Greece...
 
2013-02-28 06:21:17 PM  
Obviously, 87% of the respondents thought that the poll was an undercover IRS sting operation.
 
2013-03-01 08:30:07 AM  
I'm curious how many of the 13% are the people at the top 13% of the income level.
 
2013-03-01 11:20:09 AM  
Been audited twice now, ended up with a reduction in taxes due both times.  Not sure if I now have a target on my back, or they don't want to mess with me any longer.
 
2013-03-01 04:09:09 PM  
The tax system is so broken I'm very hesitant to call it 'cheating'.
 
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