Paying taxes in the United States seems to get more and more expensive every year. The federal government is not exactly known for its transparency either. An interesting new website, is giving taxpayers a unique look behind the curtain. The website asks for the state in which a person lives and their income for 2010. The result is a breakdown of how much that person was charged in federal taxes and where exactly that money went in the federal budget in the form of a taxpayer receipt.

This is a somewhat simplistic breakdown of where hypothetical tax revenue goes, but it is very informative. Scrolling over sub-categories under the main categories of mandatory and discretionary spending reveal an explanation of what each program is and what it does. For example some sub-categories include well known spending programs like social security and defense spending. The list also includes spending programs that are less well known, like public engineering spending and spending on the National Science Foundation.

One receipt shows that the average taxpayer in California making $45,000 per year pays $8,442.85 in federal taxes. From that amount $1,610.73 is spent on social security, $44.46 on NASA, and so on. While the website operates in general terms, this brief look into where taxpayers’ money is actually spent is an interesting breakdown that is not seen very often. Anything that promotes more transparency in government and allows taxpayers to track roughly where their money goes should be considered a great resource.