The upper class pays lower tax rates because they have highly-paid tax advisors who know where the loopholes are. But this is not to be confused with tax evasion. what’s the difference between avoidance and evasion? One is against the law and the other is due to shrewd tax advisors knowing the fine print of the law.
It should be noted that even though the rich pay lower tax rates, they pay far more in taxes. For the most recent year that data was available, the top 1% in income paid 38.8% of the total tax revenue that was collected. The top 50% paid 97% of all of the tax revenue collected.
Tax evasion is when you don’t pay taxes that you are LEGALLY obligated to pay. Tax avoidance is when you study the rules and find how to LEGALLY pay less.
If you made a mistake on your tax return, you’ll have an opportunity to fix the problem and pay the money you owe. Those who get locked up for evasion continued to falsify past the initial notices.
If you lie on your tax return (by inflating your deductible expenses or hiding how much you actually earned), that is tax evasion. It doesn’t matter how small the infraction. If you say you have a little more in charitable donation … that’s still tax evasion.