A new tool to make taxes more transparent

Intuit is partnering with the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and Polco to launch a Federal Taxpayer Receipt that shows where your federal taxpayer dollars are going

It’s no secret that the federal tax code is long, complex, and difficult to understand. In fact, many Americans don’t have a clear understanding of how the tax code works or what federal programs and initiatives their tax dollars support. 

Understandably, this lack of transparency can be a massive source of frustration every tax season. More than 80 percent of Americans say that the complexity of the federal tax system bothers them. With more than 6,000 pages of federal and state tax codes and laws, who can blame them?

Intuit is committed to making taxes more transparent. We know how important it is for taxpayers to understand where their taxes go and how that money benefits their local and broader communities. After all, you get a receipt for your Uber rides, morning coffee, and subscription services, but you don’t have that sort of transparency when it comes to one of your biggest bills each year – your federal, state, and local taxes. 

Taxpayers benefit from understanding where their hard earned dollars go

As part of our commitment to transparency and helping our customers better understand their taxes, Intuit is thrilled to partner with the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and Polco on their new Federal Taxpayer Receipt. This tool allows everyone to see where their federal tax dollars are going, and builds on their previous work helping taxpayers better understand state and local budgets and impact.  

For example, the average American taxpayer paid $16,615 in federal income taxes, according to recent Internal Revenue Service data. Now there is a user-friendly tool to help provide a quick look at where these dollars go. The Federal Taxpayer Receipt gives a simple and clear breakdown of what federal programs and services this average taxpayer’s money supported:

  • $4,400 supported health care spending, including Medicare, Medicaid, health research, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • $3,466 was saved for future social security payments this taxpayer can enjoy in retirement.
  • $2,114 supported defense, including salaries for military personnel, operation and maintenance of military hardware, and other defense activities.
  • $1,660 was used to pay down interest on the debt.
  • $1,312 supported economic security assistance for those in need, including food and nutrition assistance, and unemployment insurance. 
  • The rest supported various federal programs and services, including veterans’ benefits, salaries for government employees, infrastructure development, education, and international affairs.

This clear and simple accounting can help taxpayers see what gets funded today and better understand how decisions made in our nation’s capital affect each taxpayer, family, and household.

Taxes should be more transparent, simple, and fair

Taxpayers spend time compiling receipts and taking stock of major life events, such as purchasing a house or starting a family, that qualify them to receive critical refunds or deductions. After doing all this work and fulfilling their civic duty, taxpayers deserve clarity on how the federal, state, and local governments are using their tax dollars.

Intuit is committed to making taxes more transparent and giving taxpayers a clear and simple receipt showing where their money is being spent. Our collaborative effort with the Bipartisan Policy Center and Polco is part of our work to empower taxpayers and make taxes more transparent, simple, and fair. We believe that tax time should fuel taxpayer momentum, not slow it down. Look for more from us this tax season on how we’re helping Americans get ahead – and make every financial move count.