Most tax cheats young and male

Posted March 28 at 8:13 a.m.

The typical American tax cheat is male and under the age of 45, according to a survey by DDB Worldwide Communications Group found.

While only 15 percent of Americans surveyed fessed up to fudging their tax returns, 64 percent of those people were men, according to the survey of consumer attitudes and behavior. Thirty-five percent were single, and 55 percent were under the age of 45.

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

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.

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 percent of cheaters admitted to working a job under the table, only 20 percent 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.

Tax cheaters are even more likely to steal money from a child. The survey found that while only 3 percent of non-cheaters would ever take money from their child’s piggy bank, 28 percent 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 percent of them identifying themselves as “spenders rather than savers“ compared to 32 percent 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.

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  1. Bob of Omaha March 28 at 8:54 a.m.

    When you catch them fine the crap out of them. There nothing more than cheap ******* anyway.

  2. marko March 28 at 12:29 pm

    The American white male wage slave is the enemy. Nevermind GE paid what? 3% on $15 billion in profits? You can push the young males all you want, but historically when pushed hard enough, they tend to push back, and it’s never pretty.

  3. Mark Wells March 28 at 1:03 pm

    This is the most tainted study I have ever seen. The way the results are presented here anyway.

    For starters, most of the confessed cheaters are not single as the headline implies.

    15 percent fessed up to fudging their tax returns
    of those
    64 percent of those people were men
    35% were single (meaning 65% were married)
    55 percent were < age 45

    The 35% figure was spelled out rather than written using numbers. It was the only figure spelled out this way, which strongly implies it was done intentionally to mislead the reader.

    The "under the table jobs" could easily be considered by the respondents to be cheating on taxes (because it is). And that explains the high correlation there.

    There is also a strong possibility that all groups cheat the same but young males answered more honestly not only on the tax questions, but on the other questions as well. This would mean they are no more cheaters than anyone else, just more honest.

  4. Ken March 28 at 2:41 pm

    Agreed, @Mark, that the data does not support the headline “Most tax cheats young, single and male.”
    But “thirty-five percent” was spelled out because it begins a sentence. The headline and article smack more of laziness rather than intentions to mislead.

  5. SHEILA SMITH April 8 at 12:10 a.m.

    How does my ex-husband,David Wayne Harp,his Tax Accountant and his mother,Nancy Elsberry Harp get caught for breaking the Law about filing Taxes?
    He “paid off” his Tax Accountant $500.00 for wiping away $118,000 in Tax Debt.
    She use to be employed by the I.R.S. and told him “she knew how to go through the loops and holes of how to help him.” I talked to the I.R.S. a few weeks ago because I had a Tax Lien on my Credit Report for almost $600.00 was $1,500.00 I thought this was taken care of but it’s not. We filed together in 1994 when we were still Married. I gave Customer Service his Cellular phone number and new address.
    They never put in a Change of an Address!
    His mother claimed my daughter, Jennifer Harlee Harp around 3 -5 years ago and wasn’t suppose to.
    Her Father was the only one that was to claim her according to our Divorce Decree.
    Since he doesn’t File taxes this is why and it’s not right. I’m just really tired of having to take him to Court for Back Taxes and this ruining my Credit. Our Divorce Decree states “Husband is responsible for all Owed Taxes during the Marriage. We were married April 14,1990 to March 6,1997. THANK YOU for your time.