Most Taxpayers Have No Tolerance for Income Tax Cheating; Majority Trust IRS; Support Additional Funding

According to the IRS Oversight Board 2014 Taxpayer Attitude Survey released on December 8th, 2014, almost 90 percent of taxpayers say it is not acceptable to cheat on their income taxes. This number remains unchanged since last year’s survey. Also, according to the survey, ninety-four percent of taxpayers agree that it is every American’s civic duty to pay their fair share of income taxes and 61 percent trust the IRS to fairly enforce the tax laws. Trust in enforcement was noticeably higher among the 18 to 24 age group compared to those 65 years and older.

Taxpayer satisfaction with their personal interaction with the IRS dropped in 2014 to the lowest level of satisfaction ever recorded in the Board’s survey. This drop likely reflects the impact of significant cuts in walk-in office services, coupled with a continuing low level of service on IRS’ toll-free assistance lines, which is tied to the IRS’s insufficient funding. The survey found that a majority of taxpayers expressed support for providing the IRS with extra funding to assist more taxpayers and support providing extra funding to enforce the tax laws.

“There are a number of takeaways from the latest IRS Oversight Board 2014 Taxpayer Attitude Survey,” said Board Chairman Paul Cherecwich, Jr. “First, in spite of all the controversy over the past few years, there is still no tolerance for tax cheating. Second, the survey suggests that most taxpayers, especially younger ones, trust the IRS to enforce the tax laws. Third, taxpayer satisfaction with IRS customer service has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade. The Board believes this can be directly tied to deep cuts in IRS funding, which have served only to punish honest America’s taxpayers who must endure long wait times over the IRS toll-free telephone lines and at walk-in centers. It is time to reinvest in the IRS to help honest taxpayers comply with a complex tax code and to protect the integrity of our tax system,” Cherecwich, said.

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