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How do people form beliefs about sanctions and norms toward the legal system? Using data from a telephone survey with 1,200 Minnesota adult residents, we examine how income sources that provide an opportunity to avoid official detection shape the amount and sources of communication about IRS enforcement effectiveness. Individuals with economic exchanges that provide the opportunity to cheat without detection received significantly more information about tax issues and IRS enforcement, especially from co-workers. Although both family members and co-workers were major sources of tax information, individuals received more information about IRS enforcement effectiveness from co-workers than from family members. Communication with co-workers lowered the perceived likelihood of IRS detections for overstating deductions, lowered the perceived severity of informal sanctions for tax cheatings, and lowered the perceived fairness of tax laws and positive personal norms toward compliance with tax laws. In contrast, communication with family members enhanced the perceived fairness of tax laws and positive personal norms toward compliance with tax laws. These findings are interpreted in the framework of social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954). We discuss implications for the theory and research on the development of beliefs about enforcement systems and compliance with laws.