Tax cheats: Single, young and male

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The typical American tax cheat is male, single and under the age of 45.

At least that’s what an annual survey by DDB Worldwide Communications Group found.

“The overall characteristics of this particular minority group are surprising — and in some cases, a little unsettling,” DDB concluded.

While only 15% of Americans surveyed fessed up to fudging their tax returns, 64% of those people were men, according to the survey of consumer attitudes and behavior. Thirty-five percent were single (47% when including people who have been divorced or widowed), and 55% were under the age of 45.

These percentages were all significantly higher for the self-proclaimed cheaters than for the non-cheaters, indicating that Americans who cheat on their taxes are much more likely to fall into these three categories than those who don’t, the survey found.

Many cheaters also try to justify their behavior. Far more tax cheats said they are ‘overall better people’ and that they are ‘special and deserve to be treated that way’, compared to the people who said they don’t cheat.

They tried to deduct what?!

And it’s not just taxes that they are dishonest about.

“Their willingness to cheat is not limited to their taxes but spans a wide range of situations and behavior where they are looking to get away with something,” said James Lou, U.S. chief strategist at DDB.

While 73% of cheaters admitted to working a job under the table, only 20% of non-cheaters did. Self-proclaimed cheaters are also much more likely to keep the wrong change given to them by a cashier, to ask a friend to pretend to be a former boss for a reference check and to lie about their income to qualify for government aid.

Many of them also said they would wear an outfit once and return it, file false insurance claims, keep money they see someone drop on the floor, or lie about finding something inappropriate in their food just to get a free meal.

I survived an IRS tax audit

Tax cheaters are even more likely to steal money from a child. The survey found that while only 3% of non-cheaters would ever take money from their child’s piggy bank, 28% of cheaters said they would.

“While it’s understandable that no one likes to pay taxes, we were surprised to find that tax cheaters’ overall willingness to engage in other unethical and illegal behavior is perhaps justified simply by their belief that they are special and deserve special treatment,” said Lou.

In addition, most tax cheats are also likely to be splurgers — with 45% of them identifying themselves as “spenders rather than savers” compared to 32% of non-cheaters.

And the cheating isn’t limited to either the rich or the poor. The survey found that people who cheat on their taxes generally have the same income levels as those who don’t.

Source: http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/28/pf/taxes/tax_cheaters/index.htm

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  • This is why people are told to wait for their W-2 s. The dfenirefce is probably a deduction for something you have taken out pre-tax like health care or retirement.Did you file it yourself, or with somebody like H&R Block? If you filed through someone else, call them and ask if it was transmitted yet they’re not legally allowed to send it to the IRS without having the W-2.If you filed it yourself, then you know it’s already sent. In that case, you’ll have to file an amended return, 1040X. You can download the form and instructions at irs.gov. It’s not real complex, but must be filed on paper, not efiled.For your state, do it with the correct numbers from your W-2. You might end up with a letter from them too if they do their computer match with the feds before your federal return is corrected.You’re not in trouble with the IRS, but you’ve caused yourself some unnecessary aggravation.Good luck.

  • Probably not. What you need to do is file an amended retrun including the income that the irs is saying that you owe on, and also claim any expenses that you incurred while earning that money (mileage, contract labor, supplies, meals (only 50% though), etc). If you really do owe $7k in tax, an attorney is not going to be able to really help you. All he can do is say, sure I can help, and than hit you with his fee when he can’t.