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For Immediate Release
January 10, 2011
Media Contact: Joelle Jordan
202-288-3241

Tax Cheating Unacceptable; IRS Help Welcomed, Say Taxpayers in Latest IRS Oversight Board Survey

(Washington, DC) The IRS Oversight Board released its 2010 Taxpayer Attitude Survey today. The survey of the general public has been conducted annually since 2002 to gain an understanding of taxpayers’ attitudes on tax issues. The report showed continued intolerance for tax cheating, with strong support for the services the IRS provides to help taxpayers.
Highlights of the 2010 survey include:

  • Eighty-seven percent view cheating on income taxes as “not at all” acceptable, a three percentage point boost from the previous year.

  • Once again, personal integrity stands out as a strong factor in tax compliance, with 80 percent of respondents claiming that personal integrity has a great deal of an influence on reporting and paying their taxes honestly. Third-party reporting of income has a great deal of influence for 39 percent of respondents, while fear of an audit greatly influences 35 percent.

  • Seventy-six  percent believe it is “very important” that the IRS provides a toll-free telephone number, while 70 percent find it very important that the IRS provides a website and 65 percent find it very important that the IRS provides office locations where taxpayers can receive assistance.

  • A sizable majority of those surveyed “completely” or “mostly” agree that the IRS should receive extra funding to assist taxpayers (61 percent) and enforce the tax laws (58 percent).

  • Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed correctly identified Congress as the body responsible for writing the federal tax laws.

  • Competency and ethical behavior by tax preparers is “very” or “somewhat” important to 94 percent of those surveyed.

The complete 2010 Taxpayer Attitude Survey and previous annual surveys can be found at www.irsoversightboard.treas.gov.

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Last Updated: January 11, 2011