More than one in 10 Americans think it’s OK to cheat on their taxes -- but that’s one of the lowest percentages ever recorded, according to the 2012 Taxpayer Attitude Survey, which was just released by the IRS Oversight Board.
Like what you see? Click here to sign up for Accounting Today's daily newsletter to get the latest news and behind the scenes commentary you won't find anywhere else.
Among the findings of the survey, which was conducted late last summer with 1,500 American adults:
- 95 percent of taxpayers indicated that “personal integrity” has the greatest influence on whether they honestly report and pay their taxes, but the influence of IRS audits and third-party information reporting appears to be growing.
- 63 percent of taxpayers reported they were influenced by fear of an audit and 70 percent are influenced by third-party information reporting -- both of which indicate that their degree of influence may be growing in recent years.
- 93 percent said it is important that return preparers meet competency standards.
- 87 percent said it was “not at all acceptable” to cheat on income taxes. The share of taxpayers who expressed some tolerance for tax cheating (whether “a little here and there” or “as much as possible”) dropped to 11 percent in 2012, one of the lowest levels ever recorded in the survey .
- 86 percent indicated they were likely to use the IRS Web site and 76 percent said they were likely to use e-mail to send questions directly to the IRS.
- 82 percent said they were “very” or “somewhat” likely to use the IRS toll-free telephone service and 71 percent said they were likely to use an IRS walk-in office.
- 76 percent of taxpayers were satisfied with their personal interaction with the IRS.
- 67 percent felt the IRS should receive extra funding to assist more taxpayers.