Most Americans Think the Wealthy Don’t Pay ‘Fair Share’ of Taxes, Poll Says

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Overall, 59% of Americans think Congress needs to “completely change”

Americans’ chief complaint about the federal tax system is the feeling that some corporations and wealthy individuals are not paying their fair share of taxes, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Pew Research Center poll conducted in late February found that 64% of Americans are bothered “a lot” by “the feeling that corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes.” Sixty-seven percent said the same of wealthy individuals.

The poll, which comes before the April 15 tax deadline, showed a widening partisan gap in how Americans view the tax system. Fifty percent of Republicans surveyed felt they were paying more than their fair share of taxes, compared with 30% of Democrats. These percentages were far closer together in the 2011 survey: then, 37% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats felt they were paying more than their fair share.

Overall, 59% of Americans think Congress needs to “completely change” the federal tax system, with 66% of Republicans, compared to 48% of Democrats.

The poll of 1,504 adults, conducted February 18-22, has a margin of error of 2.9%.