Have all the federal budget talks over the past few weeks piqued your curiosity about your tax dollars? If so, a new tool on The White House website can help you satisfy this curiosity – Your 2010 Federal Taxpayer Receipt.
When you visit the site, you’ll be asked to enter three pieces of information from your 2010 tax return: the social security tax you paid, the Medicare tax you paid and the income tax you paid.
If you don’t have your tax return or W-2s nearby, you can select from one of five presets.
- $25,000 income – single with no children
- $35,000 income – single parent with one child
- $50,000 income – married with one child
- $60,000 income – single parent with one child
- $80,000 income – married with two children
I decided to look at the $50,000 preset. All of the social security ($3,100) and Medicare ($725) taxes went directly to those funds. The income tax liability in this situation was $260. This $260 is spread out among several different sub-categories with 26.3 percent going to defense, 24.3 percent to healthcare and 21.9 percent to job and family security.
If your like me, you’re wondering what, exactly, some of these categories are. Each of these categories is broken down into a variety of sub-categories. For example, unemployment insurance, food and nutrition assistance, housing assistance and supplemental security insurance fall under job and family security. In this case, $11.44 of the $260 income tax liability goes towards unemployment insurance and $4.68 will help fund supplemental security insurance.
As I kept on scrolling down the page, I finally come to the education and job training category. Only 2.8 percent of taxpayer dollars are set aside for elementary, secondary, and vocational education. This is not the level of funding that we need in order to meet our global competition goals.
I also looked at other scenarios, including my own personal tax situation, and the percentages appear to stay the same but the amount will change based on your tax liability. If you want to see where your tax dollars go, check out the new tool – Your 2010 Federal Taxpayer Receipt.