What We Pay For – Where Your Tax Dollars Go

In case you haven’t seen the barrage of HR Block and Turbo Tax commercials on TV lately, tax season is upon us in the United States. For some of us it’s a season full of stress and for others it brings relief in the form of a rebate. But just where does of all the collected tax revenue go? What We Pay For has some answers to that question.

What We Pay For uses publicly available tax data to show you how your tax money is appropriated. On the left side of the screen you will see the total revenue and appropriations for the entire United States. On the right side of the screen you can enter your filing status and pre-tax earnings for the year to see the approximate amount you will pay toward US budget items. You can enter your pre-tax earnings as an annual figure, monthly figure, weekly, daily, or hourly wage.

What We Pay For was featured on the Google Blog today as part of the announcement of a data visualization contest asks participants to develop interactive tax data displays.

Applications for Education
When high school students get their first paychecks from their first part-time jobs, they’re often surprised to see that they didn’t net as much as they anticipated. This leaves them wondering where their money went (as Rachel on Friends once said, “who the heck is this FICA guy?”). What We Pay For shows students where their tax money is going.


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!