Tax Day 2012

March 20, 2012 - Download PDF Version, Notes and Sources

On April 17, 2012, your 2011 federal income tax return is due to the IRS. Where did the federal government spend your income taxes during fiscal year 2011?

Federal income tax revenues totaled around $1.13 trillion in fiscal 2011, and this chart shows exactly where the federal government spent each one of those dollars:

Where your 2011 taxes went.

When you pay federal income taxes, the U.S. Treasury designates that money as “federal funds.” That means Congress and the president can spend that money on any government activity—and the chart above shows how they chose to spend federal funds in 2011.

This chart does not include your payroll taxes, also called Social Security and Medicare taxes, which are designated as “trust funds” and can only be used by the Treasury to fund those two programs. But as you can see from the chart above, some federal funds are also used to pay for Social Security and Medicare.

For More…

  • About how your own paycheck funds the federal budget, check out Taxes and Your Paycheck.
  • About how the federal government raises trillions of dollars in tax revenue each year, check out Federal Budget 101.
  • About the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, check out CostofTaxCuts.com.