Speed Reads

the tax man cometh more slowly than he used to

Tax evasion is getting easier

It is getting easier to evade tax payments, FiveThirtyEight reports, and though anti-tax fervor is usually found among the GOP, for this shift Americans can thank Republicans and Democrats alike.

Specifically, we can thank their bitter partisanship. Following the passage of the GOP tax reform bill, blue states like California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York are considering classifying some state or local taxes as charitable donations or a payroll tax that can be deducted from federal payments. The goal, as Connecticut's state revenue commissioner put it, is "a bit of payback for what I think was the utter disregard of the Congress for the impact of [the bill] on [these] states."

More broadly, studies have shown Americans are more likely to pay their full tax bill when they like the party in power in Washington, so President Trump's consistently low approval ratings probably aren't great for revenue.

And beyond partisanship, FiveThirtyEight highlights the reduced staff and budget at the IRS, which means the agency conducts fewer audits. Likewise, small businesses, including mom-and-pop shops and independent contractors, tend to under-report their tax liabilities by as much as two-thirds, and the new tax law is expected to facilitate this habit.

Read the full FiveThirtyEight report here.