Americans Weigh in on Tax Cheating

The stress of tax season can be overwhelming for many people, but the government should be reassured that the vast majority believe it's not acceptable to cheat at all on income taxes.

The stress of tax season can be overwhelming for many people, but the government should be reassured that the vast majority believe it’s not acceptable to cheat at all on income taxes, according to a new survey.

The survey by the IRS Oversight Board revealed that 87% of people thought it wasn’t acceptable to cheat on taxes, which was three percentage point increase over last year.

Personal integrity was the most important influence on taxpayer compliance with 95% of respondents citing it as the reason they wouldn’t cheat on taxes, followed by third-party information reporting to the IRS and fear of an audit.

“Personal integrity is at the core of our self-assessment tax system,” IRS Board Chairman Paul Cherecwich, Jr., said in a statement. “The overwhelming majority of American taxpayers play by the rules and expect everyone else to do the same. They don’t tolerate cheating by taxpayers regardless of income, and 96% of those surveyed agreed that it was every American’s civic duty to pay his or her fair share of taxes.”

Only 11% said that tax cheating was okay whether it was “a little here and there” or “as much as possible.” This was one of the lowest levels ever recorded by the Board’s annual survey since its inception in 2002.