Poll: Majority of Americans do not know how to do their taxes

Nicole Lafond Contributor
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The majority of Americans do not know how to file their taxes, according to a poll released Thursday.

Approximately two-thirds of American voters said the federal income tax system is too complicated today and opt to have someone else prepare and file their taxes, a Quinnipiac survey found.

There was only a slight gender difference between men and women who file their own taxes. Thirty-six percent of men do it themselves, and 31 percent of women tackle the filing task independently.

While “almost everyone gripes” about paying taxes, the majority of American voters, 57 percent, declared that they felt they paid their fair share of taxes, Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said.

President Obama announced yesterday in his fiscal year 2014 budget proposal in the Rose Garden of the White House, that he wants to add $1 trillion worth of new taxes over the next 10 years.

Although the majority of voters felt they are paying their part, they were divided on which income class pays too much. Thirty-five percent said lower-income people pay more than their fair share, while 50 percent said middle-income people pay more than they should, the poll revealed.

Voters generally agreed that the rich do not pay enough, with 55 percent indicating they felt the rich pay less than their fair share in taxes.

Just below the majority, 47 percent of voters said eliminating deductions and lowering overall tax rates would be a good idea, and a strong majority, 71 percent, said Congress should close tax loopholes for people with higher incomes.

In line with these results, the president said Wednesday that part of his proposed tax reform would include eliminating some tax deductions and “loopholes” for higher income Americans.

“If anyone thinks I’ll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle-class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short-term, they should think again,” the president said during his budget proposal announcement.

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