Lesson Idea – Taxes

Heard an ad on the radio today along the lines of, “Last year, Americans who filed their own taxes lost more than one billion dollars in unclaimed deductions”

My first thought was, big deal, about three dollars per person. Not going to convince me to shell out for H&R Block.

Then I did some searching, and found that there’s no really reliable number on how many Americans file their own taxes–but some fascinating incomplete data is out there if you look for it.

Then there’s a huge range of costs for tax preparation. Turbotax, H&R Block, and many more. Also tough to come up with an average cost for tax preparation. And, by my eye, these numbers fall pretty close to a break-even point for all people.

I’m skeptical of this, but also curious. Modeling task? Are taxes interesting to 7th graders? (I think this falls well into 7.RP. I was hoping to bring in the 8th grade scientific notation standards but I think that might be a force). Anyone want to give it a shot?

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