Personal Finance

Tax Day quiz: What do you really know about taxes?

Key Points
  • How much of the government's revenue comes from individual taxes?
  • Over 1,000 adults were polled last week.
  • Be sure to file today if you haven't already.

It's Tax Day and chances are you've logged at least a few hours working on your return. However, when it comes to taxes and tax policy, most Americans' knowledge is still pretty hazy, a recent NPR/Ipsos poll found.

Last minute tax tips

"People don't know much about actual tax policy," Cliff Young, president of Ipsos public affairs, said in a statement. "The only thing definitive is that they know when taxes are due."

Think you know a little more than that? See if you can answer these questions correctly (no peeking).

What percentage of working American's don't pay federal income taxes?

Answer: About 45 percent of adults in this country pay no federal income tax.

However, that may be because they have no taxable income or because they get money back as a result of refundable tax credits like the earned income tax credit, NPR said.

Only 21 percent of those surveyed answered correctly, the rest mostly underestimated.

How much of government revenue comes from personal income taxes?

Answer: In reality, almost half of all federal revenue, or 47 percent, comes from individual income taxes.

But when asked: "True or False: 75 percent of the federal government's revenue comes from personal income taxes?" the majority of Americans overestimated how important their income taxes are to government revenue.

About half mistakenly thought this statement was true, 26 percent correctly said it was false and 25 percent did not know.

Do lower income Americans pay too much in taxes?

Answer: That likely depends on your political affiliation.

Two-thirds of Americans believe lower-income people pay too much income tax although the responses here were heavily partisan — around 8 in 10 Democrats, 6 in 10 independents and half of Republicans agreed with that statement.

About 60 percent of Americans believed taxes should be lowered for people making $49,000 or less (although this opinion also broke along party lines).

NPR/Ipsos polled more than 1,000 adults online on April 11 and 12.