54% of Americans think Donald Trump should release his tax returns
Americans might not like paying taxes – but they definitely like getting refunds. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, twice as many of those who have filed their taxes say they are getting a refund than say they owe the government more money for taxes. Those at higher income levels also are twice as likely to say they are getting a refund as say they owe more money.
The prospect of a refund is so popular that three times as many favor getting a refund even if it means they had overpaid the government during the year.
Overwithholding one’s estimated taxes during the year may give the government an interest-free loan, but that’s fine with both Republicans and Democrats, as well as with those whose family incomes are greater than $100,000 a year.
Some respondents are more upset than others about their tax burden. A third say they pay more than their fair share of taxes, but about the same percentage say they pay about the right amount, when taking into account what they receive from the government. 6% even say they pay less than their fair share. While Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe they pay too much, a similar share of GOP identifiers think their payment is appropriate. Those who supported President Trump in the 2016 election, however, are more likely to say they pay more than their fair share.
Four years ago, Republicans were much more likely to say they paid more than their fair share.
Those who don’t pay all their taxes are more likely to just annoy Americans than to make them especially upset. However, the public is bothered more by well-off people who don’t pay their fair share than by the size of their own tax bill or the complexity of the tax system. That’s true for the well-off and the less well-off. However, Republicans and Trump voters are much more likely to say they are distressed by the complexity of the system.
The budget deficit continues to be seen as a more important problem than the tax code. Nearly half would reduce the deficit before cutting taxes. Both Republicans and Democrats would rather reduce the budget deficit than cut taxes. However, Trump voters are more closely divided: 48% of them are more concerned about the deficit, 42% about taxes.
Perhaps that is why the new tax law gets nearly as much opposition as support – not much change on this has occurred even as the year goes on and many are seeing more money in their take-home pay. Only 21% think they will pay less under the new law. That percentage is higher for those with family incomes over $100,000 (32%), Republicans (38%) and Trump voters (42%).
Twice as many expect the President will pay less in taxes under the new law as believe they will see their own taxes reduced.
As for the President’s tax returns, Americans still want to see them. Nearly twice as many want them released as don’t think that’s necessary. The higher income group agrees. However, a majority of Republicans and two in three Trump voters don’t believe the President should release his returns.