As millions of Americans rush to finish their tax returns by the looming April 15th deadline, many feel that their tax bills are too high. Overall, more than 4-in-10 (43 percent) Americans say people like them pay too much in taxes, while nearly half (48 percent) say they are paying the right amount and 6 percent say they are paying too little.
But views about taxes vary substantially between Americans of different economic means. A majority (52 percent) of Americans who make less than $30,000 a year say they pay too much in taxes. Nearly half (47 percent) of those with annual incomes between $30,000 and $50,000 also believe they pay too much in taxes. Fewer than 4-in-10 (39 percent) Americans making between $50,000 and $100,000 a year say they pay too much in taxes. Only about one-third (32 percent) of Americans with incomes in excess of $100,000 a year say they pay too much in taxes.
Views about the fairness of tax rates vary significantly by political affiliation. While 52 percent of Democrats believe that Americans earning less than $30,000 a year are paying too much in taxes only 34 percent of Republicans agree. A majority of Republicans say that low-income earners pay about the right amount (39 percent) or too little in taxes (17 percent). Only 5 percent of Democrats believe Americans making $30,000 a year or less are paying too little.
There are even larger partisan differences in views about the appropriate amount that high-income earners should be paying in taxes. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of Democrats say people who make more than $250,000 a year pay too little in taxes. In contrast, fewer than 3-in-10 Republicans (27 percent) and Tea Party members (22 percent) agree that Americans earning at least $250,000 a year pay too little. Republicans (20 percent) and Tea Party members (23 percent) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (8 percent) to say that the high-income earners pay too much in taxes.
Regardless of whether you think you pay too much in taxes, tax day is still less than a week away!