Skip to main content

New Tool Provides Insight, Transparency for American Taxpayers

Washington, DC—As budget debates continue to consume Capitol Hill, the Bipartisan Policy Center, Intuit, and Polco have partnered to launch a new online tool that empowers American taxpayers by providing them with a detailed “receipt” showing where their hard-earned federal taxes go.  

Every year, Americans pay their taxes only to wonder how those dollars are being spent. With this new tool, people can simply input the amount of federal taxes paid into the Federal Taxpayer Receipt to get an estimate of how their tax dollars are distributed. The tool provides a receipt that shows how their income and payroll taxes are spent across federal programs and services including Social Security and Medicare, energy innovation, education, and interest on the debt. In an era marked by increased scrutiny of government spending and a growing desire for transparency, this user-friendly tool allows taxpayers to gain insights and understanding as they engage their communities and policymakers on our nation’s fiscal priorities.  

“As we enter another tax season and policymakers brace for significant spending decisions in the coming years, from annual appropriations to the expiration of several Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions next year, taxpayers deserve more transparency into where their hard-earned dollars go,” said Rachel Snyderman, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The tool fosters engagement from the public as they can see in real-time their contributions to public services and reflects BPC’s ongoing commitment to fiscal responsibility and education.” 

“Intuit takes pride in our role empowering taxpayers and advocating on their behalf. We believe that the more transparent and straightforward taxes are, the more confidence people will have come tax season,” said Michael Kennedy, chief corporate affairs officer at Intuit. “It’s important for taxpayers to know where their taxes go, and how their money benefits their local and broader communities.” 

“Taxpayer receipts that estimate how much a person pays in taxes and show how the government spends those dollars are the best form of financial transparency,” said Chris Adams, senior strategist at Polco. “Instead of saying, ‘the US spends X billions of dollars’ on a given program, the receipt breaks it down to what an individual contributes. Studies show that breaking down large sums to relatable chunks helps people understand the government better, builds trust, and even reduces polarization over public services.”

This tool will prove useful and informative for taxpayers, policymakers, students, and the media by providing insight and transparency in the many tax and budget negotiations ahead.  

Read Next