Two years ago, Republicans and Democrats had similar views of the fairness of the tax system. Today, 64% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the present tax system is very or moderately fair; just half as many Democrats and Democratic leaners (32%) view the tax system as fair. The share of Republicans who say the tax system is fair has increased 21 percentage points since 2017. Over this period, the share of Democrats viewing the tax system as fair has declined nine points.
The public’s overall frustrations with the federal tax system have changed little since April 2017, the survey finds.
Overall, about six-in-ten Americans say they are bothered “a lot” by the feeling that some corporations (62%) and wealthy people (60%) do not pay their fair share in taxes.
Fewer American express strong concerns about the complexity of the tax system (39% say they are bothered a lot by this), the amount they pay in taxes (27%) and whether poor people pay their fair share in taxes (16%).
While Republicans and Democrats across income categories differ in their views of tax fairness, the gaps are widest – and the shift most pronounced – among those with family incomes of $75,000 or more. Currently, 68% of Republicans with incomes of at least $75,000 say the tax system is very or moderately fair, up from just 37% in 2017. By contrast, the share of Democrats who view the tax system as fair has declined 19 percentage points since then (from 40% to 21%).