Where Did Your Tax Dollars Go?

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Now that the 2014 tax deadline is behind us, do you have a good idea of where all your tax dollars went? If you’re like most Americans, you probably have a vague idea of how your hard-earned money is spent on the federal level, but aside from that, you probably don’t know exactly how that money is divvied up.

In an effort to be more transparent, the White House created a “Federal Taxpayer Receipt” website a few years back which is updated annually to correspond to annual spending. This site allows you to enter your income tax, social security taxes, and Medicare taxes to see the specific allocation of your tax dollars across the various federal programs.

Not unexpectedly, the highest percentage of income tax spending according the calculator is on healthcare and national defense; however, you can also see a further breakdown of these categories as well as many others. For example, about 1.13% is spent on science, space, and technology programs, but of this amount, only 0.66% goes to NASA. It’s pretty interesting to see how your tax dollars translate to federal budget spending.

To check out your own personal “tax receipt,” click here.

By Kristen Janik, CPA