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If you knew someone was cheating on their taxes, would you turn them in?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 6, 2006

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Photo of J. Taylor

“No. I wouldn’t because it’s none of my business really.”

Photo of Elizabeth Rowley

“No. Absolutely not. It’s the government’s job to do that. It’s none of my affair.”

Photo of Michael Sundra

“It depends on the situation and where my head is at at the time.”

Photo of Teri Hargis

“Probably not. Not even if I didn’t like them.”

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DaREEKKU 12 years, 1 month ago

That depends....what's in it for me? >:-)

thunderbuns 12 years, 1 month ago


Good point! That just leaves Bea then.....

beatrice 12 years, 1 month ago

No - I would never turn myself in! How stupid do you think I am!

cyberchaos 12 years, 1 month ago

nope...still trying to get my little refund from the state runaround back...i say if they can cheat...go for it.

tpatric 12 years, 1 month ago

There wouldn't be any point thunderbuns, you have to make a profit for it to be taxed.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

jonas - There cannot be a sequel to Big Momma's House, for it never existed. There is in fact a Big Momma's House-shaped hole in my reality.

That is all.

thunderbuns 12 years, 1 month ago

The only people I'd turn in for cheatin' on their taxes would be those dorks who make gay cowboy movies................and maybe Bea.

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

Just got a chance to look at yesterday's board -- you know a post is going to be good when our badger starts with, "Y'know, not to antagonize, but. . . . ." :):)

thunderbuns 12 years, 1 month ago

This sad little monkey happens to think "Dumb and Dumber" is one of the best movies of all time.


outoftowner 12 years, 1 month ago

People cheat on their taxes? ha I wouldn't turn anyone in, it's their conscience not mine. And their problem when/if they get caught.

jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

badger: From yesterday:

"For some people, 'Brokeback Mountain' is the ultimate affront Hollywood could perpetuate upon the sensibilities of decent people. For me, that honor goes to the dual facts that there are THREE chapters to the 'American Pie' franchise and that the people who made 'Dumb and Dumber' haven't been horsewhipped by anyone."

I think that it should actually be the fact that there is a sequel to "Big Momma's House."

And no, I don't have anything to say about todays questions. Except that Thunderbuns is a sad little monkey.

Sigmund 12 years, 1 month ago

I wonder how many of these same people want higher taxes to pay for their favorite program?

tpatric 12 years, 1 month ago

I painfully do my duty; I don't question others on the matter. I have found that those who say they cheat are just blowing smoke. There are people who sell alot of books and tapes on how not to pay taxes and they claim they don't pay taxes, but don't be deceived...they are liars. The IRS is prevented by law from telling anyone this about individual people. As far as a reward for turning in a tax cheat, the IRS will award the informant up to 10% if the amount collected based on the amount of information the informant is able to provide; the identity of the informant is never revealed. More of the high rollers get caught than you might think, but, again, this is not always publicized due to IRS's privacy constraints.

enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

I don't know how I would know if someone else cheated on their taxes.

Off topic (please excuse): I am looking for a recommendation for a good pediatrician in Lawrence. My wife is due in about 3 months and I have no idea who is a good doctor in town.

Chris Tackett 12 years, 1 month ago


Can you please provide a source if you're going to make such outlandish claims?

avhjmlk 12 years, 1 month ago

The entire peds practice in lawrence is great. It wouldn't hurt at all to schedule a prenatal appointment with a few of them and see which one you're the most comfortable with.

Ceallach 12 years, 1 month ago

I don't think the people I know would trust me with such information:) Not because I would turn them in -- I would do much worse than that -- I would gripe at them every time we met for making me bear part of their tax burden!!

Anyone stupid enough to brag or discuss cheating on their taxes is bound to be caught sooner or later.

One year one of my husband's former (and disgruntled) employees called the IRS and reported that he was keeping two sets of books. Weeelllll, guess who was doing his bookkeeping? ME!! I hardly had time to do one set, let alone two. We of course had a big audit but came out fine. The IRS is like a loaded gun without restrictions on who can aim and fire it!

Now I'm mad all over again -- grrrrr.

Donald Whiteley 12 years, 1 month ago

It depends. If it was only nickle and dime stuff, probably not. I think we all stretch a little when it comes to deductions. If it was big dollars or I heard that someone wasn't reporting their taxes, I probably would. As little as we can trust our govt. to spend our money appropriately, if someone doesn't pay their share, it only increases the burden on the rest of us.

bankboy119 12 years, 1 month ago

I'd say 90%+ don't pay that tax...I didn't see it either. No I wouldn't turn them in, I'm not paying for another illegal's health care or education. No one else should have to either.

acg 12 years, 1 month ago

Here Here, quitbitchin!! I don't rat people out for stuff, either. Karma gets folks in the end and it doesn't need any help from me.

YourItalianPrincess 12 years, 1 month ago

I have an accountant for my taxes. I just take him everything for my little buisness and he takes care of everything for me. I guess if there were ever a problem it would fall back on him..........I hope.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

I don't know and blue you convicted me on that one. I didn't even think about it but I guess I do need to keep track of that now. Man this sucks, more taxes being paid. Oh well, but I would turn somebody in if they admitted they were cheating.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

Hey luny!

You got any actual proof of this alleged 'task force'?

Cause if it existed, I should have been audited every year Clinton was in office.

Funny that, I never was. I criticized health care plans, military usage, environmental policy, "Don't ask don't tell," more military usage, gun bans, drug policy, and more military usage. I got pretty vehement and called some names.

Mmmm, nothing quite like the smell of conspiracy theories in the morning.

Smells like cows.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 1 month ago

The gov't gets enough of my money as it is. I about croaked already about seeing my property tax bill, they went up a grand. No way would I narc someone out, the gov't would end up buying gold plated toilet seats or Perrier with it anyway.

kansas_prairieland 12 years, 1 month ago

You know, I could have a field day with Michael Sundra's (pictured above) response.......but why bother?

It would only get deleted.

Like OB, I too have never been privy to what other people pay for taxes....or how they pay their taxes.

I guess I always figured that it was none of my business.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

How often does someone even discuss how they do their federal/state taxes with you? For that matter, who would be dumb enough to tell you that they cheated? The tax system pretty much gives you tons of loop holes to jump through so if you really wanted to cheat, you could do it legally and guilt free. It's like my momma always told me..."Locks only keep the honest people out!"

Liberty 12 years, 1 month ago

Most don't really understand the tax system.

There is an interesting book called 'cracking the code' for those of you who are tax accountants or just want to know about the tax system in depth and wish to have the IRS code broken down and the definitions made clear.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

Harley - most of the sites I buy from add tax on according to the state I'm having it shipped to, or I'm buying movie tickets, and the tax is included in the price.

I suppose if I used eBay more often, or bought from smaller sites (mostly, I buy gifts for people through their wish lists), then it would be something I worried about, but I don't remember the last time I bought something online (aside from a movie ticket) that didn't add on the tax in the purchase.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

I think it would depend. If I heard some amateur Trump talking about a bunch of funny wheeler-dealer smoke-and-mirrors stuff he pulled on the IRS to save a couple grand using the insanely complicated tax code, I'd probably just figure the government deserved it for having a ridiculously complex system for a relatively simple thing.

However, if I found out that someone had just flat-out lied and cheated the government out of taxes they should have paid, I would probably report that person. If the person was a friend, I would urge them to fess up because it's my experience that tax cheats usually get caught eventually.

beatrice 12 years, 1 month ago

Okay, the above was intended for humorous purposes only. I do not cheat on my taxes. I actually paid the "internet tax" last year and will again this year, though not for a complete year this time around. Someone else would have to be committing huge tax fraud if I were to ever turn someone in -- and since I doubt anyone would tell me so, I probably will never need to.

bankboy: Honest question - would you really want to deny anyone health care if they truly needed it? I can understand your frustration with the double-standard on illegals -- we want to keep them out or ship them home, but if they stay we will pay for plenty -- which is indeed a very odd way to approach the matter. But if anyone is here and needs health care, I don't see how we as a caring people and nation could say no. Of course, once healthy enough to travel, we need to ship them back home. But we can't say no to health care. That just isn't right.

neopolss 12 years, 1 month ago

No. I wouldn't pretend to know enough about tax rules to know if someone is actually cheating. Without that knowledge, I am merely speculating. I'll leave it to an expert in tax code. This isn't like turning in a speeding driver or a red light runner - taxes have more complications, and lots of loopholes.

canyon_wren 12 years, 1 month ago

I don't think I would ever be tempted to report someone else. I figure that's the government's responsibility. There are so many ways that people can find to do dishonest things, anyway. If they can truly "live with themselves" doing what they do, I'm sure there is nothing I can do about that.

When my husband and I lived down on Illinois, just north of the stadium, back in the mid-60s, all the folks in the neighborhood parked cars in their yards for $1 a car (I supposed some still do that, but I am sure the rate has gone up!). A fellow halfway down the block who worked for the IRS would come by and tally up the number of cars at each house--I don't know what he actually did with the info but I thought that was pretty petty. But (with all due respect to those posters who work or have family who work for the IRS), I imagine that kind of job attracts a certain personality type anyway!

Jclarkson 12 years, 1 month ago

Maybe Im not really 100% sure on tax laws, but is there a reward for turning in a tax cheat? If there was and I knew for a fact that a nemesis of mine was cheating on their taxes, I report them to the feds in a heartbeat. If there isn't any reward....probably not. It would be a big waste of time for everyone in the process.

I can see why there is some justification for turning in someone who cheats on their taxes, but the government seems to misuse tax dollars on a regular basis.

Fortunately, I dont cheat on my taxes. I prefer to remain honest with my taxes, for my conscience and for my legal benefit.

tpatric 12 years, 1 month ago

For those of you under 40, be grateful you weren't around when Andy Warhol's "Lonesome Cowboys" was thrust upon us.

lunacydetector 12 years, 1 month ago

during the clinton administration, anyone critical of the administration or anyone critical of the IRS through letters to the editor to any newspaper or other means were subject to an audit.

the IRS actually had a task force that scoured newspapers throughout the country for anything critical, took note of the person's name then sent someone out to audit said person.

as for the question of the day, of course i would turn them in, but please note - in all my years i have never had anyone admit they were cheating on their taxes.

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