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Is Cheating on Your Taxes Okay? More Americans Say ‘Yes’ — Dollars and Sense

Tim Boyle, Getty Images

Tax day is right around the corner — but that doesn’t mean we’ll all pay our fair share.

An IRS survey last year found the percentage of people who thought it was acceptable to cheat “as much as possible” on their returns doubled compared to 2010.

While the survey notes most Americans feel paying their taxes in full is part of their civic duty and 84 percent said it’s never okay to fudge the numbers, that latter number has dropped three points from 2010. What’s more, eight percent of respondents said cheating “as much as possible” is okay — the first time in any recent year that figure has been higher than five percent.

Still, the percentage who thought it was acceptable to cheat “a little here and there” actually decreased from eight percent to six percent from 2010 to 2011.

This means overall, the percentage of respondents who said cheating on your taxes is okay was 14 percent, compared to 12 percent in 2010, 13 percent in 2009, and 9 percent in 2008.

These numbers could reflect recent political surveys saying a rising number of people think the rich don’t pay enough in taxes — which could mean even those with less money feel justified in shaving off a little here and there themselves.


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