April 15th brings out the liar in many people: 17 percent of Americans fail to pay their allotted share of the income tax bill, according to the Internal Revenue Service, creating a shortfall in the neighborhood of $300 billion each year.
Tax evasion isn't just about greed. Some people lie to Uncle Sam for the thrill of it, or because they think they are too clever to be caught. Others cheat simply because they believe everyone else is doing it.
He Gets A Kick Out Of Risk
Tax evaders tend to be thrill-seekers, or type "T" personalities. They're likely to be energetic and impulsive.
He's Red And Blue
Tax cheats aren't liberal or conservative. Per capita, Nevada and Washington, D.C., have the largest number of tax evaders. Citizens of Vermont and South Dakota are the most honest.
He's In Business
Type T personalities gravitate toward investment banking and entrepreneurship.
He's Not Shy In The Driver's Seat
People who "flip the bird" in traffic are also likely to cheat on their taxes, according to one lifestyle survey. Both behaviors are ways for people who feel wronged to feel they're getting even, says Martin Horn, an executive at DDB Needham.