Over half of taxpayers would try every trick in the book to wriggle out of paying tax, or even break the law, according to a MoneySavingExpert.com poll.

Out of a huge 21,800 votes, 45% said they would push a tax loophole as far as possible, Jimmy Carr-style, as long as it was legal.

A further 10% said they'd break the law, such as taking cash in hand and not declaring it.

Tax avoidance has hit the headlines over recent weeks. Millionaire comedian Jimmy Carr (right) was lambasted by Prime Minister David Cameron for avoiding tax using an offshore loophole after it was revealed he paid just 1% of his income in tax. Other celebrities are thought to use similar schemes.

Someone under 65 who earns the average 25,000 a year salary pays 5,468 in tax and national insurance, which is a 22% rate.

Here are the results of our poll into your attitude on tax.

Would you do a Jimmy Carr?
Tax evasion I'd break the law (eg, cash-in-hand) 10%
Tax loopholes I'd push as far as possible, Jimmy Carr-style, as long as legal. 45%
Tax avoidance I'd do what I could to reduce tax, without taking the mickey 31%
Tax planning I'd only use vehicles such as Isas & pensions, that the Government encourages 14%
21,832 votes received

The results show the Government has a tough task to ensure all tax owed is collected at a time when the economy needs every penny it can get.

Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com creator, says: "While the Prime Minister berated Jimmy Carr, it seems the majority of the public would have done exactly the same, or worse.

"Most people see tax as something to be avoided as much as possible.

"Laws can only change so much to really change things, politicians need to work on changing the culture so people understand the value of what they're paying for, and what they and society get out of it.

"Even then, it's going to be a tough sell."

HM Revenue and Customers (HMRC) says it plans to crackdown on tax avoidance.

A spokesman says: "HMRC is extremely effective at shutting down tax avoidance schemes fast and effectively.

"The avoidance 'industry' has been seriously undermined by HMRC's focus on tackling avoidance preventing billions of pounds of tax being diverted from the Exchequer.

"In our 2010 spending review the Government made 917m available to us to tackle avoidance, evasion and fraud. This is being used to ensure a level playing field for all taxpayers."

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