6 charts on Americans’ view on tax fairness

SHARE 6 charts on Americans’ view on tax fairness

Taxes — and more specifically, tax policy — are hot-button issues, especially during an election cycle. The tax code is increasingly complex and difficult to navigate for everyday Americans.

But what do Americans really think about the tax code? A new study released by Wallet Hub provides some insight.

In short, 80 percent say the tax code is too complex, few support a flat tax system and a majority of Americans believe corporations should be taxed at a higher rate than consumers.

Here’s a closer look at the data:

From Wallet Hub:

Education appears to be positively associated with viewing the current tax code as too complex—that is, the more educated you are the more complex you find the current tax code to be.


When it comes to personal deductions, nearly half of Americans say having fewer deductions would level the playing field.

Wallet Hub’s survey shows older individuals favored fewer deductions compared to younger individuals, while men (48 percent) were more likely to favor fewer deductions than women (36 percent).


One of the bigger issues is how investment income should be taxed compared to regular wages.

From Wallet Hub:

Current policy taxes income from investments at a lower rate than income from wages; which results in someone like Warren Buffet paying a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.

Wallet Hub’s data shows blacks and Latinos, compared to whites, are more likely to support investments being taxed at higher rates.


When presented with different options for a tax structure, three-quarters of those surveyed said they prefer a progressive structure instead of a flat tax:


Consumers also are strongly in favor of corporations facing higher tax rates:


But how does the “fairness” of some taxes compare to others? The chart below shows the percentage of people who believe the taxes in the following categories range from “very fair” to “OK.”

Most people are OK with the amount of taxes levied on booze and tobacco:

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