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Opinions on Taxes Among U.S. Adults

This survey of 1,016 age 25+ Americans explores their opinions about the fairness of the tax system, their feelings about cheating on taxes, and how they prepare their taxes.

Of those surveyed...

  • 89 percent say they do not know anyone who has cheated on their taxes
  • 87 percent think it is not at all acceptable to cheat on their income taxes. 5 percent think cheating a little is acceptable, and 3 percent think it is acceptable to cheat as much as possible
  • 60 percent received help in preparing their 2004 taxes from a tax professional or accountant, 24 percent from computer software or an online service, 20 percent from their spouses and 15 percent from friends or other family members
  • 92 percent feel it is every American's civic duty to pay their fair share of taxes
  • 59 percent think the tax system is unfair; those age 50 or older are more likely to think it is unfair compared to those below that age (65 versus 55 percent)
  • 77 percent feel taxes are too high and 27 percent feel taxpayers should pay what they feel is a fair amount

Surveying took place between February 24th and 28th, 2006 and was conducted for the AARP Bulletin by International Communications Research (ICR). Further information about the study may be obtained by contacting its author, Jean Koppen of AARP Knowledge Management/National Member Research, at 202-434-6311. (5 pages)

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