See Exactly Where Your 2012 Taxes Went

NPP Pressroom



Mattea Kramer (413) 824-2026,

Jo Comerford (413) 559-1649,

[April 1, 2013] – Millions of Americans will file their 2012 federal income tax returns on April 15, but few know what happens to their tax dollars. That’s why National Priorities Project (NPP) has launched Tax Day 2013 – to show exactly how each federal income tax dollar was spent in 2012, down to the penny.

This analysis finds that the largest share of federal income taxes went to the military, which accounted for 26.5 cents of every dollar. Next was health care (20 cents), followed by interest on the federal debt (13.6 cents). Meanwhile education programs accounted for 3.5 cents on the dollar and science took a single penny. See the breakdown here.

“This is a simple way of looking at how our tax dollars are spent, and yet it draws attention to some of the central budget issues facing our nation – including military spending and health care costs,” said NPP’s Research Director, Mattea Kramer.  “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.”

Tax Day 2013 also offers two unique interactive resources. Taxpayers can generate their own tax receipt to see how much they personally paid toward items ranging from disaster relief to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Then they can use NPP’s one-of-a-kind Trade-Offs tool that shows how much taxpayers in more than 9,900 cities and towns across the country paid toward certain federal programs – and what else that money could have bought.