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Before You File: Chop Up Your Tax Dollars and See Where They Went


See where the dollars you won't get back went.


Wondering where your money goes after Tax Day?

Trillions of dollars in tax revenue are due Tuesday, but most Americans have no idea where their cash ends up. This image from the Heritage Foundation might help:

tax dollars heritage foundation The Heritage Foundation created this image of the U.S. dollar, chopped up by spending programs. (Image source: Heritage)

"In 2013, the major entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care consumed 49 percent of all federal spending," Heritage, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., posted online. "These programs, and interest on the debt, are on track to consume an even greater share of spending in future years, while the portion of federal spending dedicated to other national priorities will decline."

The U.S. government took in $2.8 trillion in revenue in 2013, according to the website U.S. Government Revenue, with 57 percent coming from income taxes.

w Ad valorem are the taxes levied on real estate or property, typically at the time of purchase (Image source: U.S. Government Revenue)

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 9.48.17 AM Don't forget state revenues, unless you live in Florida or another state that doesn't collect state income tax. (Image source: U.S. Government Revenue)

When the numbers are compared to 2012, defense took the major hit — due to the Budget Control Act and sequestration — while entitlement spending grew.

On the flip side though, you might only be focused on how much your family will get in tax refunds, and what to do with them. As of February, the government had already issued more than 31 million refunds for this year, with the average individual refund hitting just over $3,000.

And if you find yourself squeeze for time, you can still file for an extension; the IRS expects at least 12 million taxpayers to request extensions by the filing deadline, allowing for an extra six months to file.

Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter

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