A new Gallup poll released on Friday, May 19, showed that six in 10 Americans believe the amount of federal income tax they pay is too high. The last time this many Americans had a negative view of federal income taxes was in 2001.
Less than four in 10 American – around 36 percent – said they pay about the right amount in federal income taxes.
Furthermore, 46 percent of respondents said they believe the amount they are forced to pay in federal income tax is fair, essentially tying with 1999’s 45 percent as the lowest in Gallup’s trend. Meanwhile, a new high of 51 percent of respondents said they do not believe their income taxes are fair.
Federal income tax has also displaced local property tax as the perceived worst or least fair tax that regular Americans have to pay.
Gallup further noted that the last time Americans were this critical of federal income taxes came right before President George W. Bush signed his tax cuts into law. While income taxes have not significantly risen for lower and middle-income Americans, more well-off Americans and big and small businesses alike have seen their taxes rise during the administrations of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Since Gallup started asking this question in 1947, the share of taxpayers who said they were paying too much in federal income taxes has seesawed from a record-low of 43 percent in March 1949 to a record-high of 71 percent in February 1952.
Gallup’s survey was conducted from April 3 to 25 among 1,013 American adults. The margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points at a confidence level of 95 percent.
Income tax refunds are getting smaller
Many Americans are also reporting that they walked away from tax season with income tax refunds that are substantially smaller than a year ago, due at least in part to the end of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic-era boosts to certain tax credits.
This year, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service, income tax refunds averaged just over $2,800, down more than seven percent from last year. (Related: Tax audit representation expert says new AI program used by IRS to target alleged tax evaders is EXTREMELY FLAWED.)
Tax refunds in 2022 got a boost from generous payouts, including the child tax credit, the child- and dependent-care credit and the earned-income tax credit.
Many other taxpayers were able to shave substantial amounts off their tax bills with a temporary change that allowed them to take the standard deduction and write off a portion of their charitable donations. But these credits ended last year, reverting to their size before the pandemic, and the deduction for cash donations similarly disappeared.
“With the end of the pandemic tax relief, many people have seen their income tax liabilities go up, and it’s not surprising they see that as unfair,” said Lawrence Zelenak, a professor of law at Duke University.
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Watch this clip from “The Stew Peters Show” as host Stew Peters interviews Peymon Mottahedeh of the Freedom Law School about how the only people legally required to pay federal income taxes are federal workers and residents of Washington, D.C.
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