Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Lessons About Income Taxes

In most years today would be the deadline for Americans to file their income tax returns. This year that deadline has been extended to July 15th because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I already had these resources ready to go for this week so I'm going to share them now rather than wait until July.

What are tax brackets?
Tax brackets are not as straight-forward as they seem on paper or in political debates. Vox offers a concise explanation of what tax brackets are and how they work. Money Coach also provides a good explanation of tax brackets although that explanation is longer with a bit more nuance.

Do you need to file a tax return?
If you teach high school students like I do, some of them may be filing taxes (or having parents do it on their behalf) for the first time. Doing that can lead to all kinds of questions about why we have taxes, the way taxes are calculated, and types of taxes. Money Coach has two videos that do a good job of explaining why you have to file a tax return and how to do it.

The concept of an income tax.
Crash Course offers a video that explains the origins of income taxes and a general explanation of how money collected from income taxes is used.

Income tax lesson plans.
PBS Learning Media offers a free lesson plan through which students learn about reasons for taxes being withheld from paychecks, where the withholdings go, and why some people have more or less withheld than others. In addition to helping students understand taxes withheld from paychecks Taxes - Where Does Your Money Go? introduces students to concepts related to saving for retirements. To that end, the lesson plan includes a video about how a self-employed person handles budgeting for taxes and retirement.

Create Lessons With These Videos
EDpuzzle is my favorite tool for creating lessons with videos that I find on YouTube. In the video below I demonstrate how you can use EDpuzzle to create your own lessons with videos that you find on YouTube.

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