UK Politics

Your taxes: What you pay and what you get back

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Media captionHow much do we get back from the taxes we pay? Nick Robinson explains

Have you ever wondered what you receive back for the money you pay out in tax each year? In 2010-11 the Treasury paid out £692bn in public spending. This adds up to £22,000 being spent on behalf of each family, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Find out what households similar to yours pay in tax and what they get back in the form of benefits and services by entering your details into the form below. Enter all the people you live with, including children.

Who is in your household?

Gender Age Annual income
before tax
In school or
further education
Include in

What you pay and what you get back

These figures put all the households in the UK into one of ten equally-sized groups, or deciles.


Please make sure at least one household member is included in the calculation and that all the questions have been answered

On average, people with household incomes similar to yours have an annual balance of...

How that compares

Average per household, £ per year

Decile Average disposable income
Chart showing breakdown of income deciles


These figures put all the households in the UK into one of ten equally-sized groups, or deciles. The bottom have the least disposable income, the top have the most. The 'average disposable income' means the household income leftover after direct taxes have been paid and this figure has also been equivalised. This means it has been weighted to allow comparisons between small and large households to be made easily.


Here, tax includes both direct and indirect taxes. So, National Insurance, income tax and VAT are all included. As this is an average for households across each decile it could include taxes that your own household does not pay, for example tax on tobacco if you are non-smokers.


These figures are averages for each decile, so it is possible that no one in your particular household receives them. Benefits include both cash benefits, including the retirement pension or child benefit, and benefits in kind, which includes public spending on health and education, amongst other things.


The balance is the sum left after tax paid has been taken away from money received in benefits.

To find out more you can watch BBC political editor Nick Robinson's documentary series, Your Money and How They Spend It. Episode one is on BBC Two at 21:00 Wednesday 23 November.


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