Pew Poll: Americas Attitude on Taxes Better Than Expected

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The ubiquitous feeling on Tax Day, April 15, is that absolutely no one likes paying their taxes. A Pew study released earlier this week showed Americas attitude on taxes was better than one might expect. One in three, or about 34 percent of Americans responded positively to the question, ‘How do you feel about doing your taxes.’

Twenty-nine percent said they liked doing their taxes, while a surprising five percent said they “loved” doing them. However, the majority of respondents, 56 percent of respondents had a negative reaction, answering with either “dislike” or “hate.”

pew poll

When looking at how the responses fall along partisan, economic, and racial lines, some interesting trends emerge. From the study:

Democrats have a less negative view of doing their taxes than do Republicans or independents. Six-in-ten Republicans (60%) say they dislike or hate doing their taxes. Just 32% like it or love it. The balance of opinion is similar among independents (62% dislike or hate it, 31% like or love it). Democrats’ opinions are more mixed: just under half (46%) either dislike or hate doing their taxes, while four-in-ten (40%) like or love it.

With respect to socioeconomic status, another disparity was revealed. Americans with lower incomes we much more likely to respond favorably to taxes. Forty-one percent of Americans earning less than $30,000 a year said they ‘liked’ or ‘loved’ doing their income taxes. Conversely, only 30 percent of those earning more than $75,000 a year responded similarly.

Likewise, race may play a role in determining attitudes about taxes as well. Fifty-two percent of Black Americans ‘liked’ doing their taxes as opposed to only 28 percent of Whites.

In spite of the several disparities, there was a general consensus on whether or not lying on you taxes was ethical. “Seven-in-ten (71%) Americans agree that not reporting all income on your taxes is morally wrong, while 19% say it is not a moral issue; just 6% see this as morally acceptable.”

Although most of us ‘dislike’ or even ‘hate’ doing them, lying on your tax return is almost universally frowned upon. Partisan affiliation held almost no bearing on the morality of cheating on your taxes.