The simplest definition of the concept of tax evasion is when a person or corporation evades their regular payment of taxes; they maneuver in such a way that they can altogether avoid giving a portion of their money to the government. However, it is more than simply refusing to hand over a check or ignoring repeated letters from the Internal Revenue Service; tax evasion can include providing false information about the financial affairs of the person or corporation, making it seem as though the wealth and resources are not there. It can also take the form of under- or unreported commodities from one border to the other, such as between Canada and the United States. If the physical quantity of merchandise is not accurate, or if the description of the items is not precise, the customs duties can be inaccurate, itself a form of tax evasion.
Often, tax evasion is measured through the amount of unreported or underreported financial data; the discrepancy between the amount that was actually provided and the actual amount one possesses provides data about the financial impact of this practice. Research has shown that individuals who make more money have an increased likelihood that they will one day engage in evasive tax practices; it is argued that the richest individuals in society are upwards of ten times more likely to "cheat" on their taxes. As the tax rate rises, the level of a person's income drops, and general dissatisfaction with the federal government emerges, the likelihood of engaging in tax evasion increases.