Tax Day 2016: Where Does Your Tax Dollar Go?

Today — April 18th — is Tax Day 2016 when millions of procrastinating Americans are sending off their 2015 tax returns to meet today’s filing deadline. When preparing your return you often have to break down your earning and spending into categories and see where at least some of the money you brought in went. So have you ever wondered where the money you pay in taxes goes specifically?

Obviously we all know that our tax dollars go to fund many projects and programs within our government. This includes funding for schools, roads, our military, welfare, Medicaid, salaries for our lawmakers, and much more. But now the National Priorities Project has broken down exactly how a one dollar of federal tax revenue is spent and CNN Money has created an infographic to put it into perspective:

In 2015 the average American household paid $13,000 in income taxes. The largest chunk of that (roughly $3,700) went to health programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and government subsidies as part of the Affordable Health Care Act. Around $3,300 went to military spending while $1,776 — an appropriate enough figure for our country — went to paying interest on national debts. Rounding out the top five are unemployment and labor programs with 8% and veterans benefits with 5% or around $771 out of the average household income tax bill.

If you don’t feel like doing the math of these percentages as they apply to your tax return you can visit the National Priorities Project’s site to see how much of your tax money went where. You can also see what each of the states spent their tax revenue on. Happy Tax Day!

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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