Report: How your personal income taxes were spent in 2017


Our analysis found that the average taxpayer put in 29 working days in 2017 to pay Pentagon contractors.

Tax Day is April 17, 2018. Americans will file their tax returns for all income received in 2017. Want to know what your taxes pay for, and who pays what?

Check out our Tax Day 2018 resources:

Get your personalized tax receipt, or see an average for your state.
Read our “Seven Tax Facts for 2018”.
Don’t like your tax receipt? Make your own federal spending choices.
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Check out our Tax Day notes and sources.

Some Key Findings:

The receipts are in and we found that corporations contributed to just 9 percent of federal revenue through income taxes, while individuals contributed 48 percent. Our analysis shows individuals and states just how much of that money is going to the military, the environment, education, and healthcare.

On the Pentagon & Military

The average taxpayer contributed $240 to Lockheed Martin through the Department of Defense. That’s more than twice as much as the $112 taxpayers contributed to child nutrition programs including school breakfast and lunch.

The average taxpayer paid $190 for all diplomacy and foreign aid, compared to eighteen times as much – $4,328 – for the Pentagon and military.

The average taxpayer put in 29 working days in 2017 to pay Pentagon contractors. That’s eleven cents out of every tax dollar going to the Pentagon’s corporate contractors.

While nearly 24 cents of every tax dollar supports the Pentagon and military, just five cents goes to our troops in the form of pay and other benefits (excluding health care).

On Energy & the Environment

The average taxpayer contributed just $39 for the Environmental Protection Agency, which has been threatened with a 35% (or $2.9 billion) budget cut under President Trump’s proposed 2019 budget.

On Education

The average taxpayer contributed just $580 to education, including K-12 education, higher education, and vocational training.

On Income Support

Taxpayers contributed $426 for income support programs for veterans.
The average taxpayer contributed just $80 in 2017 to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, better known as welfare.

On Health Care

Taxpayers contributed an average of $3,533 for Medicaid and Medicare, providing insurance for 1 in 3 Americans.

On Government

The average American paid $79 for the Internal Revenue Service, the equivalent of a 0.5% service charge for income tax collection.

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