1040 Income Tax Cheat Sheet for Kids

I recently posted on Instagram about doing my students' taxes. All of my seniors, most of whom have after school jobs, learned how to file a 1040 income tax return in our Consumer Math class. Still, some feel nervous about doing the "real thing". The idea that my students aren't getting their tax refunds because the process is so confusing really bothers me. Nevermind that wage theft is a major issue anyway, lots of people are leaving even more money on the table because of how confusing our tax code is. It's not right.


1040 Tax Cheat Sheet for Kids


During our income taxes unit, we talk about how the government will find us if we owe them money but that we will never hear a peep if we are owed a refund. It's sad but true! Even figuring out Turbo Tax was enough to deter one student from getting his tax refund two years in a row! He was owed close to $1,000 by the time we did his federal and state returns for both years.

1040 cheat sheet for improving financial literacy

It is important to me to teach my students how to file their taxes with a 1040. This way they are empowered to get their refunds without paying anyone to do their taxes for them. My students deserve to get their money back. 


On this 1-page income tax cheat sheet, I focused solely on the lines of a 1040 that students need to fill out in order to get their refund. I made this sheet for students, parents and teachers who want to help their kids get their money back. You can download this tax cheat sheet for free from my Dropbox in the sidebar or from clicking the hyperlink.

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You may also be interested in the activities included in this bundle of Consumer Math activities. The end activity I use to assess student understanding of the 1040 is included as well as other activities we use throughout the year. Each activity is also linked separately.

Consumer Math Activities Bundle for improving financial literacy

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