What does the federal government do with your money? Take our taxes quiz.

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor/File
A 1040 form from 1913 hangs in the halls of the US Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, DC.

It seems there’s no end of taxes – and of debate about what the federal government does with all the money it collects. Whether you’re wrestling with Form 1040 or baffled by the latest debate in Washington over the national debt, here's at least a little relief. Test your knowledge of America’s fiscal behavior with this quiz. It won't cost you a dollar or add a dime to the deficit – and what you don't know you'll learn from the included answers!

1. Which of the following events in IRS history is matched with the wrong presidential administration?

Under Eisenhower: The filing deadline for individual tax returns is changed from March 15 to April 15.

Under Coolidge: The name of the agency is changed from the Bureau of Internal Revenue to the Internal Revenue Service.

Under Reagan: Limited electronic filing begins.

Under Franklin Roosevelt: Congress passes the Current Tax Payment Act, which requires employers to withhold taxes from employee wages and remit them quarterly.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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