Taxes provide a way for federal, state, and local governments to pay for the products and services that do not depend on a person’s ability to pay for them.

Everyone in a community can use the library, call the fire department when there is an emergency, enjoy the local park and its facilities, and use the roads in and around the city. Federal agencies monitor air and water quality and oversee transit safety. These are all examples of public services paid by taxes that benefit everyone.

People are required to pay taxes, for which they receive government services.”

— Money Management Standards, Jump$tart Coalition Benchmarks

Section Topics

Paying for Government Services

Taxes provide the revenue for government to fund public goods services that benefit society as a whole.

The How of It

Virtually everyone in the United States pays taxes. This topic will focus on the more practical side of taxation, including how taxes are paid and collected, the agencies that oversee tax collection, and the ins and outs of filing and deductions.