1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.
2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, said that there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. While death comes just once a lifetime, Tax Day pays a visit every year.
Tax Day in the U.S. is on April 15th, which is the deadline for Americans to file and pay their taxes.
Listen to Taylor and Dave talk about taxation.
1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.
2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.
Dave: Tax time! Saturday’s the deadline. Have you filed?
Taylor: I have filed but not yet paid.
Dave: Oh no, you have to pay in?
Taylor: Yeah, I’ve got to pay a lot to, ah, well, to the Feds, I don’t owe too much because I pay them pretty well over the course of all the year. And the state people, who I don’t really want to have my money due to the way they’ll use it…
Taylor: ...I owe a little bit. But, ah, Multnomah County, where Portland resides, they’re totally not using the money right. And it’s just this big Band-Aid that they could fix with sales tax. You know, I don’t mind paying a little bit extra money when I want to buy something, you know.
Dave: And that’s what’s so difficult about taxes is you never know where your money is going.
Dave: And for a nation that really founded itself on, you know, saying, “No more taxes!”, I think we’re paying a lot.
Taylor: Oh yeah!
Dave: And people really have no idea where their money is going, but they have very strong opinions about where they think it’s going. We pay, what, is it like 37% tax…
Dave: ...and we have no social support system in the U.S.
Taylor: No we don’t! Not like Germany, they know where their money goes.
Dave: But they pay like 70% or 80%.
Taylor: They pay that, but they know where it goes. They see it in their everyday life, you know.
Dave: Right. And they also don’t live with the daily fear that “I could have a serious medical crisis tomorrow, and how am I going to pay for it?” Or, “I might lose my job, and what’s going to happen to my house?” Because there are social support systems there from the tax money.
Taxes have always been a hot issue in America. In 1773, people in Boston were angry at the British tax on tea. In protest, a group of people boarded the merchant ships and dumped all of the tea into Boston Harbor. This famous event, known as the Boston Tea Party, contributed to the start of the American Revolution, or the American War of Independence.
Tax rates differ from country to country and depend a lot on how much you make. Denmark has one of the highest tax rates (up to 68%) in the world, while Bahrain has the lowest (0).