Blair Bulletin

March 2023

The IRS engaged the Pacific Consulting Group in the Fall of 2021 to conduct a research study to define the following main objectives:

• Americans’ attitudes toward tax compliance, customer service and interactions with the Agency;
• Track shifts over time that affect tax administration;
• Historical trending in online and phone response to taxpayers.

In this article, we’ll deal with taxpayer attitudes based on age and income levels with regard to:

• Personal integrity as the driver to not cheat on income taxes;
• Responsibility to report those who cheat;
• Perception of paying what is felt to be a “fair amount." 


The findings on these topics are presented in the following graphic formats.


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In addition to identifying personal integrity as the top influence to report and pay taxes honestly, the following are other compliance factors that are significant motivators:

• Gen Z and Millennials are considerably more influenced by the risk of paying interest/penalties, fear of an audit, and the belief that neighbors are reporting and paying honestly compared to older generations.
• For Gen Z in particular, the ability to pay, the desire to take care of fellow citizens, and how the government uses taxes affects them more than other age groups.
• In terms of education levels, taxpayers with at least a college degree are more influenced by personal integrity (95%) and fear of an audit (64%). Alternatively, less educated taxpayers are significantly more influenced by their ability to pay, how the government uses the taxes, and having the option to pay installments.


Click here if you would like to access the content of the full Comprehensive Taxpayer Attitude Survey.