The other certainty in life
I’m pretty confident saying that most of us are going to pay our taxes. We might not like it. We might kick and scream all the way to the post office but in the end the IRS will have its way with all its children. Now some folks out there will ignore our fiscal responsibilities all together. To that I say you can run but you can’t hide. Not forever anyway. That said, in our heart of hearts we’d probably do some crazy things in order to not pay taxes: leave the country, go undercover, whatever.
So what’s in your wallet?
WalletHub conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,000 taxpayers, asking about everything from whether they expect a refund to which divisive pop culture figures they like more and less than the IRS. One question asked folks what they would do to get out of paying taxes and a full 27% said they’d tattoo the word IRS somewhere on their body. Heck if that’s all it takes count me in! I already have three. One more dedicated to the IRS is just icing on the cake.
Avoidance vs. Evasion
On a more serious note, Americans will do more than ink a tattoo to protect their assets. The Economist points out that there is a fine line between tax evasion and tax avoidance. “The smartest evaders use a combination of bank accounts, shell companies, trusts and foundations (often fronted by others) in one or more offshore financial centers [to protect their interests].”
On the other hand, recounts the Economist, companies and individuals naturally push the envelope, “Often betting that the authorities will have neither the wit nor the resources to confront them over their tax-minimization strategies. Or that governments will accept less tax in return for investment by ‘mobile capital’”. Foxbusiness.com points to capital gains management as the method of choice for paying fewer taxes.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch
Getting back to the Wallethub survey (you can see the entire survey here). If tattoos were at one end of the spectrum, spending a year in jail was at the other (about 1%). On a positive note, 86% of Americans surveyed feel the IRS is necessary but could use improvement.
Most of us probably don’t have the type of fiscal outlay necessary to spread around and diversify (in offshore accounts, under rocks and the like) so it looks for the time being a tattoo may be our best bet.