Category Archives: Taxes

Getting A Summer Job? Here’s What You Need To Know About Taxes

This makes a good activity if many of your students work during the summer or school year.  I used this article from Kiplinger as a primary source.

Step 1:  Student worker will need to complete a W-4.  Here’s a W-4 Calculator to help students get a feel for how much in taxes will come out of their paychecks.  For W-4 Calculator, students should will need to know their gross wages and the frequency of pay.  If they don’t know this, as long as they know their hourly rate and # of hours per week, they can calculate their weekly pay amount.

Two key points they will need to confront in filling out the W-4: Continue reading

Video Resource: Do Taxes Affect the Distribution of Income in the US?

Yes, yes, I know that your taxes are a distant memory at this point, but I thought this 3 minute video (hat tip to Big Picture Blog) using Legos to show how taxes impact each of the five quintiles of income distribution in the US.  Spoiler alert:  Not much.  Other useful concept explored within:  difference between pre-tax and after-tax income levels.  Ask your students to calculate the average tax rate for each of the five quintiles; they will need to write down the figures as they watch the video.

The math involved to calculate this is:   Continue reading

Question: Why Do Close to 80% of People Overpay Their Taxes and Then Get Refunds?

Loading up on tax ideas which seems appropriate with April 15th deadline looming…So, why is it that almost 80% of tax filers find themselves receiving a tax refund (average this year of about $2,800)?  Some might wonder if it is a government conspiracy to overwithhold while others might wonder if this is a backdoor way for people to save (or splurge).

So, what say ye tax experts (from Marketplace.org)? Continue reading

Video Resource: Just In Time for April 15th, “Taxation Nation”

It only seemed appropriate with April 15th almost upon us to highlight a video I stumbled upon, Taxation Nation, which is part of a larger set of 20 short films titled We The Economy.   In Taxation Nation, a five minute animated video (think Schoolhouse Rock), students learn about the history of the income tax, what it pays for and its myriad problems (complexity, loopholes, enforcement).   Continue reading

Featured Teacher: Lisa Bender (Southern Garrett High School, Maryland)

Every month, we look forward to featuring a personal finance teacher and having them share with the community their strategies to succeed in the classroom.  This month, NGPF is happy to introduce Lisa Bender from Southern Garrett High School, the Maryland 2014 Financial Literacy Teacher of the Year.  We appreciate Lisa taking the time to share her wisdom and answer three questions we posed to her.

Mrs B teaching

What is your favorite activity with students? Continue reading

Question of the Day: How Do I Complete a W-4?

I often get questions from educators asking how to teach students about taxes.  A student’s introduction to the tax system usually takes the form of the W-4.  When a employee begins a new job, it is usually the first form thrust in front of them as a way to get them into the payroll system.  This simulation on the IRS website is helpful in walking a first-time employee through the process.

What do employees need to know to complete the form?   Continue reading