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Tax theory goes interactive! Reinforce your classroom instruction (or just have a little fun!) by choosing from the more than 75 interactive activities featured in the Whys of Taxes.

The Whys of Taxes activities

Theme 1: Your Role as a Taxpayer

Lesson 1: Why Pay Taxes?

Activity 1: Your Federal GovernmentCheck out the vast scope of the federal government.
Activity 2: Public Goods and ServicesGet a bird's eye view of a typical community to see how many government services can be found.
Activity 3: Citizen's Guide to the Federal BudgetLearn how the federal government gets and spends its money.

Lesson 2: How Taxes Evolve

Activity 1: Powers of CongressReview the U.S. Constitution and discover the powers granted to Congress.
Activity 2: Formal Tax Legislation ProcessChart the tax legislation process.
Activity 3: Contact CongressTake a virtual field trip to the U.S. Congress.

Lesson 3: The Taxpayers Responsibilities

Activity 1: Tax Avoidance and Tax EvasionDiscover what's legal and what's not.
Activity 2: Voluntary ComplianceMatch taxpayer comments to the IRS response.

Lesson 4: The Taxpayer's Rights

Activity 1: Taxpayer RightsVisit the IRS Web site to learn about your rights as a taxpayer.
Activity 2: Tax CourtGo to the U.S. Tax Court Web site to learn about the court's role in settling tax disputes.
Activity 3: Processing Tax FormsLearn how the IRS processes tax forms.
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Theme 2: Taxes in U.S. History

Lesson 1: Evolution of Taxation in the Constitution

Activity 1: Taxes and the U.S. ConstitutionCompare the powers of taxation granted by the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.
Activity 2: Historical Views of TaxationDiscover how the colonists and Civil War Americans viewed taxes.
Activity 3: Tax Your MemoryIs your memory taxed? Play this game of concentration to find out.

Lesson 2: Early Tax Issues

Activity 1:The Impact of the Whiskey Tax and the Tariff of 1832Who was affected by the tax on whiskey in 1791 and the Tariff of 1832? Match the events and groups involved to the appropriate region of the country.
Activity 2:The Whiskey Tax of 1791 and the Tariff of 1832Identify the causes and effects of these early taxes.
Activity 3:Timeline of U.S. Tariffs between 1816-1860Discover more about U.S. tariffs enforced between 1816 and 1860.
Activity 4: Tax Word ScrambleUse clues to solve tax word scramble.

Lesson 3: Income Tax Issues

Activity 1: History of the Federal Income TaxFind out how the federal income tax became a law by completing a timeline of important tax events.
Activity 2: Calculating TaxesCalculate the federal income tax different groups would pay under the tax laws during the Civil War.
Activity 3: Political Cartoons and TaxesInterpret the message behind political cartoons about taxes.

Lesson 4: The Social Security Act of 1935

Activity 1: All in Favor Say AyeWho favors Social Security? Who opposes Social Security? You decide.
Activity 2: Calculating TaxesCalculate FICA/payroll taxes for individuals in 1937 and today.
Activity 3: How are Social Security Numbers Assigned?Take a virtual field trip to learn how Social Security numbers are assigned.

Lesson 5: The Wealth Tax of 1935 and the Victory Tax of 1942

Activity 1: Tax VocabularyMatch tax terms with their definitions.
Activity 2: Taxes and the New DealTake a virtual field trip to learn more about FDR's New Deal.
Activity 3: FDRTake a virtual field trip to learn more about FDR's legacy.

Lesson 6: Tax Reform in the 1960s and 1980s

Activity 1: Tax Reforms of 1969 and 1986Complete a cause and effect chart for the Tax Reform Acts of 1969 and 1986.
Activity 2: How Much Did We Pay?Take a virtual field trip to find out how much of taxpayers' incomes was paid in taxes in the 1980s, a time of tax reform.
Activity 3: Tax Your MemoryPlay a game of memory and concentration.

Lesson 7: Tax Reform in the 1990s and 2000s

Activity 1: Refundable and Nonrefundable Tax CreditsMatch the clue to the type of credit.
Activity 2: Components of Tax Relief Measures 1990 - 2010Explore the provisions of the tax relief measures.
Activity 3: How to Stimulate the EconomyTake a virtual field trip to learn more about the American Recovery Act.
Activity 4: Economic Timeline of Events 1990-2010Match the event to the year it occurred
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Theme 3: Fairness in Taxes

Lesson 1: How to Measure Fairness

Activity 1: Tax BenefitsMatch the tax to the benefit received.
Activity 2: Comparing Town and County ServicesTake a virtual fieldtrip to learn what services are provided by town government and which are provided by county government.
Activity 3: What Makes Taxes Fair?Assess the fairness of different taxes and fees.

Lesson 2: Regressive Taxes

Activity 1: Regressive Taxes and You Show how a $2,000 tax affects the incomes of five citizens in Regressia.
Activity 2: Sales Tax HolidaysLearn how Texas and Pennsylvania make their sales tax less regressive.
Activity 3: Tax ScramblerUnscramble tax vocabulary.

Lesson 3: Progressive Taxes

Activity 1: Progressive Taxes and YouShow what percentage of each person's income would go towards tax in a progressive system by completing pie graphs.
Activity 2: Comparing U.S. and Swedish Tax RatesFind out how tax rates in Sweden compare with those in the United States.
Activity 3: How Much Will You Earn?Research your future career to discover your earning potential.

Lesson 4: Proportional Taxes

Activity 1: Proportional Taxes and YouFind out how income is affected in a proportional tax system.
Activity 2: Comparing State and Local Retail Sales TaxesLearn more about state and local sales tax.

Lesson 5: How Taxes Affect Us

Activity 1: Fairness and TaxesHow do taxes in a regressive, progressive, and proportional tax system affect income?
Activity 2: Tax Freedom DaysHow many calendar days does it take to make enough money to pay your total tax liability?
Activity 3: Tax Your MemoryIs your memory taxed? Play this matching game to find out.
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Theme 4: What is Taxed and Why

Lesson 1: Federal/State/Local Taxes

Activity 1: Town Manager for a DayHow will you raise revenue without cutting services in Springville?
Activity 2: Taxes in Your StateTake a virtual fieldtrip to learn more about taxes in your state.
Activity 3: State and Local Revenue and ExpendituresDiscover where state and local money comes from and where it goes.
Activity 4: Can You Balance the National Budget?Try your hand at balancing the national budget.

Lesson 2: Taxes in a Market Economy

Activity 1: The Circular Flow of EconomyStudy the circular flow of economy to discover the relationship between the government, businesses, and you.
Activity 2: Taxing TimesCalculate the amount of taxes owed by individual taxpayers.
Activity 3: Income Tax RevenueTake a virtual field trip to learn about changes in income and income tax revenue.
Activity 4: Consumer Spending PatternsTake a virtual field trip to learn more about consumer spending in the 1990s.

Lesson 3: Income Tax Facts

Activity 1: Income Distribution Take a virtual field trip to find out how much Americans earned.
Activity 2: Tax ScramblerUnscramble tax vocabulary.

Lesson 4: Direct and Indirect Taxes

Activity 1: Classifying Direct and Indirect TaxesClassify taxes as Direct or Indirect.
Activity 2: Business BeginningsDiscover how business location affects profits and taxes.
Activity 3: Chuck's Chocolate FactoryHow are profits affected when you shift rising property taxes to your customers?
Activity 4: Tax Your MemoryTest you tax IQ when you play this memory concentration game.
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Theme 5: Impact of Taxes

Lesson 1: How Taxes Influence Behavior

Activity 1: The Cigarette TaxDetermine if the cigarette tax is high enough to discourage smoking.
Activity 2: The Gasoline TaxCalculate the tax you'll pay for gas in four states.
Activity 3: Tax ScramblerTax your brain in this fun activity!
Activity 4: Tax ScramblerUnscramble tax vocabulary.

Lesson 2: The Politics of Taxation

Activity 1. Tax IssuesMatch tax issues to groups likely to support them.
Activity 2. Lobbyist for a DayPut yourself in the role of a lobbyist.
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Theme 6: Understanding the IRS

Lesson 1: The IRS Yesterday and Today

Activity 1: IRS TimelineChart the history of the IRS.
Activity 2: Faces of the IRSMatch the names to the accomplishments of people who helped shape today's IRS.
Activity 3: IRS FactsCan you guess these surprising IRS facts?

Lesson 2: Your First Job

Activity 1: Form W-4Learn how to find the forms you'll need on the IRS Web site.
Activity 2: Financial RecordkeepingDetermine your best financial record-keeping option.

Lesson 3: Methods of Filing

Activity 1: Tax ScramblerUnscramble tax vocabulary.
Activity 2: Tax HelpSelect the best electronic filing option.
Activity 3: E-file Scavenger HuntSearch the IRS Web site for information on electronic filing.

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