07/27/2012 Internal Revenue Service






SPEC (Stakeholder, Partnership, Education and Communication) is an organization within the Internal Revenue Service that is responsible for assisting taxpayers in satisfying their tax responsibilities by building and maintaining partnerships with key stakeholders, seeking to create and share value by informing, educating, and communicating with our shared customers. 



In addition to providing free tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and TCE/AARP Tax Aide, SPEC promotes Financial Education and Asset Building.  One component of the Financial Education initiative is Understanding Taxes.

 Understanding Taxes (UT) is a free IRS online product designed in partnership with teachers, to be used by teachers in the classroom. It makes teaching taxes very easy. It’s as simple as A-B-C because: 

  • It’s Accessible on the web
  • It Brings learning to life by connecting the real world to the classroom, and
  • It’s Comprehensive, covering theories, history and application.

UT is a great resource for middle schools, high schools, community colleges, and the general public for learning about taxes in the United States.

Benefits to Educators:

  • Teachers can choose their lesson plans today and access them tomorrow with just one click!
  • Individual lesson plans allow teachers to preview every lesson component from just one location.
  • The teacher can also choose which activities and methods of instruction work best to meet the needs of their students
  • Each lesson plan includes a link to the applicable national and state standards, making it simple to integrate UT into an existing classroom curriculum.

Benefits to Students:

  • Helps students to understand the basic concepts behind taxes and completion of tax returns; and
  • Helps students to understand the theory and history behind the American tax system

Accessing UT

It can be found on the internet at:



The IRS seeks to build awareness of UT and expand the adoption of the program into places of learning like educational facilities, after-school programs, back-to- work programs, financial education programs, etc.


Addition Information to help introduce the program:

YouTube Video: YouTube Understanding Taxes Video

Understanding Taxes Publication: Understanding Taxes Brochure

Service Learning Opportunity: Service Learning Information



Jackie Keller