Majority of Democrats Have Favorable Impression of Federal Income Tax System

A majority of Democrats, 53 percent, have a favorable impression of the federal income tax system, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll.

Among all the variables that The Washington Post cross-tabulated with the question – ideology, gender, race, age, education, income and region – only Democrats had a majority that were favorable toward the federal income tax system.

Ten percent of Democrats said they were "strongly favorable" while 43 percent said they were "somewhat favorable." Among Republicans, only 30 percent were favorable and among independents only 33 percent were favorable. Overall, 39 percent of registered voters hold a favorable view.

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Besides Democrats, those most favorable to the federal income tax system were liberals (47 percent), non-whites (47 percent), 18- to 39-year-olds (46 percent), and those making less than $50,000 per year (44 percent).

Notably, the less wealthy and young people are less likely to pay any federal income tax.

When asked if they have a favorable impression of the Internal Revenue Service, the government agency in charge of collecting federal income taxes, respondents were about equally divided – 49 percent were favorable and 48 percent were unfavorable. Democrats were, again, the most favorable (56 percent) while Republicans (42 percent) and independents (46 percent) were less favorable.

Americans strongly approve of doing all they can, legally, to lower their tax burden. A large majority, 85 percent, approved when asked, "do you approve or disapprove of people doing all they can within the law to lower their taxes?"

Taxes are due next Monday, April 15. One of the biggest complaints that Americans who pay federal income taxes often have is how complicated the tax code is. President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans are currently in talks about a "grand bargain" deficit reduction plan that would, in part, simplify the tax code by eliminating many deductions and credits.

The April 3-7 poll of 1,022 adults has a 3.5 percentage point margin of error for the full sample.

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