Survey: Is it wrong to cheat on taxes?

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in Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Most taxpayers say they would never cheat on their taxes and that it’s wrong to do so. How­­ever, to 8% of taxpayers polled, it’s OK to cheat “as much as possible.”

Alert: The 8% figure doubled from 2010, and although 84% say it’s unacceptable to cheat, that sentiment is down 3 percentage points. Only 6% say it’s OK to cheat “a little here and there.” The results were revealed in the IRS Oversight Board’s just-released 2011 Taxpayer Attitude Survey.

The results also show that 72% “completely agree” with the statement, “It’s every Ameri­­can’s civic duty to pay their fair share of taxes,” which is 3% more than in 2010. Also, 79% say “personal integrity” has a “great deal” of influence on paying taxes honestly. Fewer cited fear of an audit as the motivator to do right by the IRS. That figure is down five points from 2010, to 59%.

The survey asked about IRS customer service, with 76% saying they were “very” or “somewhat” satisfied. The figure is one point down from 2010.

The survey showed the public finds the IRS website and toll-free number to be important services, with the website growing in popularity:

  • 90% feel the IRS toll-free number is “very” or “somewhat” important; 89% said the same about the website.
  • 88% feel it’s “very” or “somewhat” important to have the option of filing tax returns electronically; 86% said the same about visiting an IRS representative at an office.
  • 80% said they were “very” or “somewhat” likely to use the website, which is up four points from 2010.

Note: The survey sample consisted of 1,000 telephone interviews conducted in Au­­gust 2011. The margin of error is plus or minus 3%.

— Adapted from AccountingWEB, Inc., www.accountingweb.com.

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