The Center for
Mathematics and Quantitative Education at Dartmouth

Money Matters
The Financial Literacy Initiative at Dartmouth College

You've Got To Hand It To Them
Understanding Taxes

According to the Tax Policy Center. Individual income and payroll taxes make up 82% of all federal revenues and account for 27.3% of the gross domestic product. In addition to these taxes are state taxes, sales tax, luxury taxes and more. How taxes are distributed among income groups, how they are collected, and how the revenue is spent are basic issues of governance relevant to all citizens.

How will taxes affect your budget and take home pay? What kinds of taxes will you have to pay, and in what forms? How do taxes vary in different parts of the country? How do local, state, and federal governments spend the money? What happens if you don't pay your taxes or don't file a tax return? Through this module, students will gain a better understanding of both their own budgets and the budget of their country.

We suggest that instructors open the instructor notes for this module, save them as a PDF file, and print them for reference. This module also includes assessment tools (pre and post test) and a case study for deeper investigation of this topic. These resources are available by contacting Audrey Brown.

Dorothy Wallace, Dartmouth College, Kim Rheinlander, Dartmouth College, Caren Diefenderfer, Hollins University