The Typical Tax Cheat: Single, Young & Male


NEW YORK (MainStreet) – About 15% of Americans cheat on their taxes, and those that do are typically young single men.

That’s the finding of a survey by the marketing firm DDB Communications, which asked approximately 6,400 Americans whether they intended to cheat on their taxes. Of the 15% who said yes, a substantial majority – 64% – were identified as single, male and under the age of 45.

So what compels these eligible bachelors to swindle Uncle Sam? On the face of it, money issues seem to be a common thread. Forty-two percent insisted they were “one missed paycheck away from disaster,” while just 29% of non-cheaters said the same of their financial situation. 

A closer look at the conspiring cheaters suggests it’s not a simple case of economically desperate people forced into tax malfeasance. There seems to be an undercurrent of narcissism at play here as well. Forty-six percent of the cheaters said they were “overall better than most people” (compared with 27% in the noncheating group), and 52% said they were “special and deserved to be treated that way” (compared with 42% for the noncheating group). In other words, it seems those intending to cheat on their taxes are partly motivated by the feeling that they’re entitled to pay less than their fair share.

And as you might expect, the tax cheats aren’t the most honest types to begin with. Seventy-one percent said they would keep quiet when a cashier made an error in their favor (compared with just 3% of non-cheaters) and more than a third said they would shoplift or file a false insurance claim (compared with 3% and 2% of the non-cheater population, respectively).

So if you’re cheating on taxes, chances are you’re already cheating at life.

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