What Do Our Taxes Actually Pay For?

Posted on February 15, 2015

Your Tax Dollars, Hard At Work

Every year Americans work diligently to minimize their tax liability to the federal government, hoping for a significant return and some extra spending money. With billions of dollars being funneled through the IRS each year, many people often wonder what government programs are being supported by their hard earned tax dollars. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest beneficiaries and programs in the United States.

Armed Forces & Defense

Roughly one quarter of income tax revenue goes toward defense programs and military operations of some kind. Expenditures range from soldier salaries to research and development of next generation weaponry. Global turmoil and advancing technology from other nations present ever-greater challenges to our military, both at home and abroad. Your tax dollars help ensure that every member of our military has the equipment and supplies he or she needs to defend this great country!

Healthcare Programs

A few percentage points behind military spending are our nations various healthcare initiatives. Stalwarts such as Medicare and Medicaid receive large portions, along with programs geared towards research, development of medicines, public health centers, food safety, and emergency preparedness. The cost and availability of good healthcare is a widely debated topic in the United States.

Supplemental & Income Support

Income security programs receive the next largest portion – just under 20% in 2014. Programs include federal retirement benefits, various welfares, and the supplemental nutritional assistance program.

The National Debt

Every year our national debt total grows, and so does the amount of interest that it accrues. Your tax dollars certainly aren’t enough to repay the debt, but a portion of tax revenue is used to pay the interest. Defaulting on our debts would have an incredible impact on our nation, and would likely cause many of the things we take for granted to stop or change significantly. Income taxes play a big part in helping to prevent us from ever defaulting, and keeping the country running smoothly.

Knowledge Is Power

You work hard for your money, and it’s nice to know what your income tax dollars are funding. This should make you feel confident that you are playing an important role in our nation’s future, ensuring our safety, health, and wellbeing! If you want to play an even bigger part, consider becoming a professional tax preparer with the help of National Tax Office, and help other people just like you complete their taxes each year!

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