Northampton, MA - Millions of Americans will file their federal income tax returns on April 15 with no idea what the government actually does with all that money.
That's why National Priorities Project (NPP) has unveiled the personalized tax receipt and state-by-state receipts for the average taxpayer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, showing exactly how the federal government spent the income tax dollars it collected in 2013.
"Taxpayers might be surprised by how their tax dollars are allocated," said NPP's research analyst, Jasmine Tucker. "For example, 27 cents of every federal income tax dollar goes to the military, while just 2 cents goes to education."
Across the United States the average taxpayer paid $11,715 in 2013 federal income taxes. The military received $3,174 of that sum, while $237 went to education programs. $6.56 went to the National Forest System.
NPP's personalized tax receipt allows taxpayers to enter the exact amount they paid in taxes and receive a customized receipt showing where that money went.
The new analysis breaks down the tax receipt by how much was allocated to specific programs that Americans care about, such as job training and employment, the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and Pell Grants for college students.
NPP's state tax receipts also show the state with the highest average taxes paid (Connecticut, $18,988) and lowest (Mississippi, $7,402).
"This new analysis draws attention to some of the central budget issues facing our nation -- including military spending and health care costs," said Tucker. "Tax Day is a chance for Americans to see where their taxes are going, and to decide if Washington's priorities match up with their own priorities for our nation."
Additional Tax Day materials include a graphic illustrating how each federal income tax dollar was spent to the penny, and Taxes 101: The Seven Things You Must Know About Taxes.
Tax Day resources: