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Some Americans say it’s OK to cheat on taxes

Tax hikes will pressure higher income residents to ‘shoulder the burden’: Republican strategist

Republican Strategist Joseph Pinion, Fox News contributor Professor Brian Brenberg and Michael Lee of Michael Lee Strategy discuss nationwide tax hikes including Nashville’s 34 percent increase in property taxes to cover coronavirus lockdown expenses.

As the extended tax deadline approaches, the IRS will be responsible for processing hundreds of millions of tax returns – and not everyone thinks fudging the numbers a little bit is such a bad thing.

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According to the IRS’ Comprehensive Taxpayer Attitude Survey, 9 percent of people said it is OK to cheat “a little here and there” on their tax returns, while 3 percent said it is OK to cheat “as much as possible.”

Additionally, 5 percent of people disagreed that it is every Americans’ duty to pay their taxes – and 8 percent disagreed that everyone who does so should be held accountable. Nearly half of people do not believe it is their responsibility to report someone who cheats on his or her taxes.

And while the majority of people agree that they should have to pay taxes, nearly one-quarter think they should just have to pay what they feel is fair.

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The survey also showed 30 percent of taxpayers do not trust the agency to protect tax records, enforce tax law and help people understand obligations. Trust is lower among educated and high-income taxpayers.

Only 64 percent of people with incomes over $150,000 said they trust the agency, and 65 percent of people earning between $100,000 and $149,999. That compares with 77 percent among people with incomes under $30,000.

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The distrust in the tax agency – and attitudes toward cheating – come at a time when the agency is combating a decline in resources and staffing. That means it is conducting fewer audits.

The IRS said it audited just 0.45 percent of individual returns in fiscal 2019. The IRS audited 0.59 percent of individual tax returns, or about 892,000 returns, in fiscal 2018 – fewer than the year prior when audits were at their lowest level since 2002.

The IRS has fewer auditors now than at any point since World War II.

In fiscal 2019, the tax agency collected more than $3.56 trillion in tax revenues, including about $277 billion from individual income taxes and $1.98 billion in business taxes.

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Varney: It's time for Joe Biden to face real questions

Varney: What does Biden think about trashing statues?

FOX Business’ Stuart Varney wonders what presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden thinks of tearing down statues, the defacing federal property, the Democratic National Committee attacking President Trump over his planned trip to Mount Rushmore or Seattle’s CHOP.

President Trump is set to attend a fireworks display for a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore, the iconic monument that honors George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

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But the planned visit drew some ire from the Democratic National Committee, which tweeted that his visit is "glorifying white supremacy."

While the tweet was later taken down, FOX Business' Stuart Varney noted the Democrats' first thought was to "somehow slime the president" during his recent "My Take."

"So we've come to this: Virtually any statue from the past can be attacked, vandalized and torn down, and that includes George Washington," Varney said.

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New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote in a Sunday op-ed that "Yes, even George Washington" statues must be taken down due to the ongoing debate over existing monuments.

"On the issue of American slavery, I am an absolutist: enslavers were amoral monsters," Blow wrote. "The very idea that one group of people believed that they had the right to own another human being is abhorrent and depraved. The fact that their control was enforced by violence was barbaric."

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Blow argued slaveowners "used anti-black dehumanization to justify the holding of slaves and the profiting from slave labor."

The New York Times columnist explained Washington owned more than 100 slaves and noted Washington's support of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 which allowed slave owners to capture runaways in any state and criminalized helping slaves to escape. The Thirteenth Amendment later nullified the law.

Varney worries "trashing the Founding Fathers" a slippery slope.

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"When only the far left's opinion on race, culture and history is the only opinion that's allowed, you know the country has a problem," Varney said.

While this debate is raging, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has remained somewhat silent, Varney noted.

"He told Politico that he supports a commission to decide on renaming military bases but that's about it," Varney said. "He hasn't held a press conference in months."

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Varney believes Americans aren't happy to see the country's history "canceled and spray painted."

"Don't tell me we are prepared to see a presidential candidate ignore what members of his own party are doing," Varney said.

Varney said Biden is also not weighing in on the defund the police movement and the death of a 16-year-old who was shot in Seattle's CHOP zone.

"So far, silence has been golden," Varney said. "He's gone up in the polls without saying a word. It's time he faced real questions, and then we'll all be able to make an informed decision in November."

Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

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