Business: Artful Dodgers

The spread of tax cheating

Among citizens of major industrial nations, Americans have long been among the most honor bright in paying their taxes. But hammering inflation and high levies have weakened their sense of morality. More and more, otherwise honest Americans are following the lead of underworld elements and dodging their tax obligations by exchanging goods and services for under-the-table payments of cash and barter.

Last week the Internal Revenue Service disclosed the results of its first effort to gauge how much the Government is losing because of this growing underground economy. The estimate: in 1976, the last year for which full...

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