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Overwhelming Support for Taxpayers Giving the Least They Can

Taxes at home poll
Cassandra Hubbart, DailyFinance
Here's a classic of unsurprising survey results: A strong majority of Americans support their fellow citizens' doing everything they can within the law to minimize their tax obligations, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Eighty-five percent of respondents say they approve of people trying to pay the lowest taxes legally allowable; 56 percent approve strongly. Thirteen percent disapprove.

More than half of Americans – 56 percent – view the federal tax system unfavorably. But the agency charged with enforcing the rules of that system came out surprisingly well: 49 percent say they see the IRS favorably, while 48 percent take the opposite view.

Among those who tend to give their enthusiastic assent to keeping one's tax bill low are Republicans, conservatives, older adults and college graduates.

As the results suggest, support for using the system to one's advantage doesn't necessarily entail support for the system itself. In a poll conduced last month, Americans favored limiting deductions for higher-income taxpayers 56 to 38 percent.

So do it as long as it's legal, all you second-home mortgage deduction-takers, but don't assume your fellow citizens think it ought to stay that way.
poll results
ABC News

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Mark Lowery

I am not surprised, as I would think most Americans would support trying to legally figure out how to pay the least amount of taxes. That's natural. What is the problem is people who scheme, skirting the edges or going beyond the edges of what is legal, and which most Americans disdain and would not and do not do, and those who help them to do so such as attorneys, CPAs, accountants, bookkeepers, and other, and which makes those who do not do so and stay within legal bounds all the more frustrated and angry at a system that is so pervasively complex and obtuse in many regards which allows for that to occur all too frequently.

April 12 2013 at 1:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
AgDoc

There is a vast and important difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. It is the right and privilege of every American to avoid paying every penny of tax legally possible, regardless of economic status.

April 12 2013 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bosshogno1

gee i am surprised people don't want to pay more then that required.......the others i would like to sell my car

April 11 2013 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bosshogno1

sounds like this poll included some working people

April 11 2013 at 10:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Tom

That is only normal. But the big mouths that say others shold pay more are the ones that pay the least. And the big mouths like Buffett have been fighting their taxes in court for years but want others to pay more. The man is just another bad liberal joke

April 11 2013 at 10:22 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
bolten2

The less tax paid the less spending self serving burearcrats can waste.

April 11 2013 at 8:28 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
freeetob

It comes down to: "I want the pothole in the road in front of my house filled, but I don't want to pay for it." The USA is the only country in the world that fails to teach its citizens economics and political science. Young people grow up without a clue. All they know is what they learned about Santa Claus.

April 11 2013 at 7:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to freeetob's comment
knarf714

there are more than adequate tax dollars collected to pay for roads etc just from gasoline taxes. The problem is that those taxes are diverted to other uses.

Most americans do understand economics, that's why they don't believe that everthing they earn belongs to the government except for what the government allows them to keep.

April 11 2013 at 9:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to knarf714's comment
undrgrndgirl

no. most americans don't understand economics, or history or any idea of doing things for the common good. like paying taxes to pay for things we ALL use.

April 12 2013 at 12:13 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
jacobsgold

So if the rich do it then it's evil? This country is screwed up

April 11 2013 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jtmpmm

This has always been the attitude in America. Supreme court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes formalized it in the late 19th or early 20 th century by saying it is the duty of taxpayers to pay no more than required by law.

April 11 2013 at 7:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Thome

Lower taxes, more honesty, higher taxes, more cheaters..................re: Greece

April 11 2013 at 7:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply