Trend: Do You Consider the Amount of Federal Income Tax You Have to Pay as Too High, About Right, or Too Low?

Trend: Do You Consider the Amount of Federal Income Tax You Have to Pay as Too High, About Right, or Too Low?

Trend: Do you regard the income tax which you will have to pay this year as fair?

Trend: As I read off some different groups, please tell me if you think they are paying their FAIR share in federal taxes, paying too MUCH or paying too LITTLE? First, how about ... lower-income people; middle-income people; upper-income people; corporations?

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about the amount Americans pay in federal taxes?

Trend: Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about the amount Americans pay in federal taxes? (Asked of those dissatisfied) Would you like to see the amount Americans pay in federal income taxes increased, decreased, or remain about the same?

Trend: Would you rather have more government services if that meant more taxes, less government services in order to reduce taxes, or services and taxes about as we have them now?

Would you rather have more government involvement in addressing the nation's problems if that meant more taxes, less government involvement in addressing the nation's problems in order to reduce taxes, or government involvement and taxes about as we have them now?

Trend: During the next twelve months, do you think the taxes you pay will be changed so that they are higher, or lower, or won't there be any change?

Trend: Do you feel that the distribution of money and wealth in this country today is fair, or do you feel that the money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people?

Trend: People feel differently about how far a government should go. Here is a phrase which some people believe in and some don’t. Do you think our government should or should not redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich?

Would you favor or oppose Congress passing a new law that would require households earning $1 million a year or more to pay a minimum of 30% of their income in taxes?

Next, I'm going to read a list of actions Congress could take this year. Please say whether you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose Congress doing each of the following this year. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

Pass a bill to overhaul the federal tax code

Strongly
favor

Favor

Oppose

Strongly
oppose

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2011 Jan 14-16

39

37

9

5

10

Next, how closely are you following the news about the agreement on taxes reached by President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress last Monday -- very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all?

Very
closely

Some-
what
closely

Not too
closely

Not at all

No
opinion

2010 Dec 10-12

31%

35

19

14

*

* Less than 0.5%

Based on what you have heard or read about the tax agreement, do you think Congress should or should not vote to pass it?

Should pass

Should not pass

No opinion

2010 Dec 10-12

49%

32

18

Do you think President Obama -- [ROTATED: compromised too much, was about right, (or) did not compromise enough] -- with Republican leaders on the tax agreement?

Too much

About right

Not enough

No opinion

2010 Dec 10-12

21%

38

26

15

Do President Obama's actions in regard to the tax agreement -- [ROTATED: make you respect him more, do not affect your opinion of President Obama, (or) make you respect him less]?

Respect
more

No
effect

Respect
less

No
opinion

2010 Dec 10-12

21%

55

17

7

Does the handling of tax issues by the president and Republicans and Democrats in Congress in recent days make you -- [more optimistic, not affect your opinion, (or make you) less optimistic] -- about the ability of the government to address the biggest problems facing the country?

More
optimistic

No
effect

Less
optimistic

No
opinion

2010 Dec 10-12

20%

24

51

5

As you may know, one part of the tax agreement reached by President Obama and Republicans in Congress extends for all Americans the income tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 that were set to expire on Dec. 31. If it were up to you, what would you want to happen -- [ROTATED: allow the tax cuts to expire for all Americans, extend the tax cuts but set new limits on how much of wealthy Americans' income is eligible for the lower tax rates, (or) extend the tax cuts for all Americans]?

Allow tax cuts
to expire

Set new
limits for
wealthy
Americans

Keep for all
Americans

No
opinion

2010 Dec 10-12

7%

47

41

4

If you had to choose, which of these do you think would be the best approach for Congress and the president to take in dealing with the U.S. economy -- [RANDOM ORDER: increasing government stimulus spending, cutting taxes, reducing the federal budget deficit and national debt, (or) increasing taxes on the wealthy]?

Reducing
the deficit/
debt

Increasing
taxes on the
wealthy

Cutting
taxes

Increasing
stimulus
spending

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2010 Nov 19-21

39

31

23

5

2

What do you think Congress should do about the income tax cuts passed under George W. Bush that are set to expire at the end of this year -- [ROTATED: allow the tax cuts to expire, keep the tax cuts but set new limits on how much of wealthy Americans' income is eligible for the lower rates, (or) keep the tax cuts for all Americans regardless of income]?

Allow tax
cuts to
expire

Set new
limits for
wealthy
Americans

Keep for all
regardless
of income

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2010 Nov 19-21

13

44

40

3

(Asked of those who think tax cuts should be kept) Do you think the tax cuts should be kept -- [ROTATED: temporarily, until the economy improves, (or should the tax cuts be kept) permanently]?

COMBINED RESPONSES: BASED ON NATIONAL ADULTS

Allow tax
cuts to
expire

Keep
temporarily

Keep
permanently

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2010 Nov 19-21

13

45

37

5

(Asked of those who want limits on tax cuts for wealthy Americans) Previously you said that there should be limits on the amount of income eligible for the lower tax rates. At what income level do you think these limits should be set -- $250,000 and over, $500,000 and over, or $1,000,000 and over?

COMBINED RESPONSES: BASED ON NATIONAL ADULTS

2010 Nov 19-21

%

Allow tax cuts to expire for all Americans

13

Set new limits on wealthy Americans' income eligible for lower tax rates

44

(Set limit at $250,000 and over)

(26)

(Set limit at $500,000 and over)

(12)

(Set limit at $1,000,000 and over)

(5)

(Set limit, unspecified)

(1)

Keep tax cuts for all regardless of income

40

No opinion

3

As you may know, the federal income tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush will expire at the end of this year unless Congress votes to keep them in place. Should Congress -- [ROTATED: vote to keep the tax cuts in place for all taxpayers, vote to keep the tax cuts in place for those making less than $250,000 but end the tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more, (or should Congress) do nothing and allow the tax cuts to expire for all taxpayers]?

Keep for
all taxpayers

Keep for
those making
less than $250,000

Allow to
expire for
all taxpayers

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2010 Aug 27-30

37

44

15

4

As you may know, as part of the recently passed economic stimulus legislation, beginning in May most Americans will receive a tax rebate check of between $300 and $600 per individual taxpayer from the federal government.

If you receive a tax rebate, what will you do with that money -- [ROTATED: spend it, save or invest it, pay off bills (or) donate it to charity]?

Pay off
bills

Save or
invest it

Spend it

Donate it
to charity

No
opinion

2008 Apr 6-9

41%

29

24

1

4

Which would you prefer to happen when you file your annual income taxes with the IRS each year -- [ROTATED: get a refund because you paid more in taxes than you owed during the year, (or) basically break even because you paid about what you owed in taxes during the year]?

Get a
refund

Break
even

Pay taxes
(vol.)

Doesn't
apply/
don't file (vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Mar 2-4

45%

50

*

3

2

* Less than 0.5%

(vol.) = Volunteered response

(Asked of those who prefer to get a tax refund) Would you prefer -- [ROTATED: to get a larger refund because you paid a lot more in taxes during the year than you owed, (or) to get a smaller refund because you paid only a little more in taxes during the year than you owed]?

COMBINED RESPONSES -- BASED ON A FULL SAMPLE

2007 Mar 2-4

%

Prefer to get a refund

45

(Prefer a larger refund)

(24)

(Prefer a smaller refund)

(21)

Prefer to basically break even

50

Prefer to pay additional taxes (vol.)

*

Doesn't apply/don't file taxes (vol.)

3

No opinion

2

* Less than 0.5%

(vol.) = Volunteered response

(Asked of those who prefer to get a tax refund) What are some of the reasons why you prefer to receive a tax refund rather than breaking even? (OPEN-ENDED)

BASED ON 403 ADULTS WHO WOULD PREFER TO GET A TAX REFUND

2007 Mar 2-4

%

It's like getting a bonus/reward/nice to get extra money

39

Forced savings/not good at saving otherwise

17

To be safe/conservative/don't want to have to owe

11

Believe taxes are too high

11

Helps with paying the bills

5

Use to pay state/local taxes

4

Use it to buy something wouldn't otherwise/Use for special purchase

3

Use it on a vacation

1

Other

11

No reason in particular

4

No opinion

3

Percentages add to more than 100% due to multiple responses.

Thinking back to the tax return you filed last year, which of the following applied to you -- [ROTATED: you received a large tax refund, you received a small tax refund, you basically broke even, you had to pay a small amount of taxes, (or) you had to pay a large amount of taxes]?

2007 Mar 2-4

%

Received a large refund

18

Received a small refund

37

Broke even

12

Had to pay small amount of taxes

13

Had to pay large amount of taxes

10

Doesn't apply/don't file (vol.)

8

No opinion

2

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Now thinking more generally, what have you been most likely to do with tax refund money you have received in the past -- put it in a savings account or invest it, use it to pay a major bill, spend it on a vacation, spend it on some other major purchase, or did you not do anything special with it?

2007 Mar 2-4

%

Put it in a savings account or invest it

24

Use it to pay a major bill

38

Spend it on a vacation

5

Spend it on some other major purchase

7

Not do anything special with it

20

Doesn't apply/don't file (vol.)

4

No opinion

2

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Which do you think is the worst tax -- that is the least fair -- federal income tax, federal Social Security tax, state income tax, state sales tax, or local property tax?

ASKED OF A HALF SAMPLE

Federal
income
tax

Federal
Social
Security
tax

State
income
tax

State
sales
tax

Local
property
tax

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

%

2005 Apr 4-7 ^

20

10

7

17

42

4

2003 Apr 7-9

21

11

11

13

38

6

1994 Jun 17-Jul 6

27

13

7

14

28

11

1992 Jun 23-28

25

10

9

16

25

15

1990 May 4-22

26

15

10

12

28

9

1989 Jun 9-22

21

18

9

14

28

10

1988 Jun 11-19

26

17

9

15

24

9

^ Asked of a half sample

Which do you think is the worst tax -- that is the least fair -- [ROTATED: federal income tax, federal Social Security tax, state income tax, state sales tax, (or) local property tax]?

ASKED OF A HALF SAMPLE

Federal
income
tax

Federal
Social
Security
tax

State
income
tax

State
sales
tax

Local
property
tax

No
opinion

2005 Apr 4-7 ^

20%

12

14

14

35

5

^ Asked of a half sample

Do you believe it is becoming -- [ROTATED: easier for someone to cheat on their income taxes, has there been no change, or is it becoming harder for someone to cheat on their income taxes]?

Easier

No change

Harder

No opinion

2005 Apr 4-7

21%

35

30

14

Now we have a question about your 2005 income tax filing with the IRS, for what you earned in 2004. Are you planning to, or did you already, send your tax return to the IRS by mail, or electronically by computer?

Mail

Electronically

Not sure
(vol.)

Doesn't
apply/
Not filing
(vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2005 Apr 4-7

43

44

10

2

1

2003 Apr 7-9

52

34

3

11

*

2001 Apr 6-8

62

28

2

7

1

1999 Apr 6-7

66

20

4

9

1

1997 Mar 24-26

77

15

2

6

*

* Less than 0.5%

(vol.) = Volunteered response

As you may know, the federal income tax cuts passed into law since George W. Bush became president are set to expire within the next several years. Would you favor or oppose making those tax cuts permanent?

BASED ON 478 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

%

%

%

2004 Dec 17-19

52

40

8

2002 Nov 8-10 ^

64

29

7

^ WORDING: As you may know, the federal income tax cuts passed into law last year are set to expire in 2011. Would you favor or oppose making those tax cuts permanent?

Which of the following statements best represents what you feel about the federal income tax system -- [ROTATED: it needs to be completely overhauled, it needs major changes, it needs minor changes, (or) it is basically fine the way it is]?

BASED ON 524 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B

Completely
overhauled

Major
changes

Minor
changes

Fine the
way it is

No
opinion

2004 Dec 17-19

24%

35

29

11

1

2000 Jan 13-16

26%

35

28

9

2

Do you think the tax cuts which Congress passed and George W. Bush signed into law have -- [ROTATED: mostly helped the U.S. economy, have had no effect, or have mostly hurt the U.S. economy] -- over the past three years?

BASED ON 484 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A

Mostly
helped

No
effect

Mostly
hurt

No
opinion

2004 Oct 9-10

39%

23

35

3

2004 Aug 23-25

32%

29

32

7

Do you think the tax cuts which Congress passed and George W. Bush signed into law have -- [ROTATED: mostly helped your family, have had no effect, or have mostly hurt your family] -- over the past three years?

BASED ON 531 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B

Mostly
helped

No
effect

Mostly
hurt

No
opinion

2004 Oct 9-10

34%

48

16

2

2004 Aug 23-25

30%

48

20

2

Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/1714/taxes.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030