Students Can Practice Taxes Online

Last year on April 15th I had my seniors in American Government class complete some 1040EZ and 1040A forms using fake W-2's and a few other bits of information. I picked up some extra copies of the forms from the local library, which provides them, and I figured that the students would benefit from the experience of doing some taxes.

Now, as with many other activities I've had my students do on paper in the past, I discovered that there are great resources online for doing the same thing: The IRS has an entire "Understanding Taxes" student website. It includes activities related to how our taxes work and even lessons on the history of taxes in the U.S. The one section I am most interested in using, however, is the simulation section that guides students step by step through various tax completion tasks.

If I had more time left in the year, I might consider using more of the resources offered on the site—and perhaps I will in the future. Still, it's great to find that it's so easy to teach teenagers the basics of how they can do their taxes. I did get paper copies of 1040EZ's again, and I'll give them to the students just so they can get that up-close-and-personal feel for the form, but completing the lesson online will be a breeze.