The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently conducted a survey of taxpayers. The survey, tilted the Comprehensive Taxpayer Attitude Survey (CTAS), focused on taxpayer’s feelings regarding their tax obligations and included a review of 2,008 responses from the general public.
Some interesting findings include a strong attitude against attempts to cheat the IRS and concerns about government oversite.
Taxpayers are not okay with cheating the IRS.
The vast majority of those contacted for the survey stated cheating on one’s taxes was unacceptable. The callers would ask survey participants what level of cheating on one’s income taxes was acceptable: not at all, a little here and there, as much as possible or no opinion. Of those surveyed, 85% responded not at all. 10% stated a little here and there, 3% as much as possible and 2% of respondents had no opinion.
Furthermore, 93% of respondents stated the need to pay honesty due to personal integrity. Overall, this means that as a broad society we are honest people comfortable paying to help keep our nation running.
Taxpayers fear oversite.
Survey participants also voiced concern about the risk of an audit and other IRS compliance enforcement efforts. Unfortunately, 41% of taxpayers’ report having to deal with the IRS after filing their tax returns. This can come in the form of an audit, penalty or request for additional information.
Taxpayers have reason for concern. The IRS reports that it issues penalties to 27 million taxpayers every year and an estimated 1 million were the subject of an audit in 2018.
Those who are contacted by the IRS for an audit or tax penalty have options. An attorney can represent your interests during an audit and review the proposed penalty.