The Internal Revenue Service has introduced the IRS Understanding Taxes program, a free online tool designed for classroom use by teachers.

The interactive tool is intended as a resource for middle, high school or community college students, but anyone can use it to learn about the history, theory and application of taxes in the U.S., according to the IRS.

The Understanding Taxes program includes 38 lessons to help students understand the American tax system.. The site map helps users navigate through all parts of the program and skip to different lessons and interactive activities. A series of tax tutorials guide students through the basics of tax preparation. Other features include a glossary of tax terms and a chance to test your knowledge through tax trivia. Interactive activities encourage students to apply their knowledge using real world simulations.

Teachers can customize the program to fit their own personal style with lesson plans and activities for the classroom. They will also find links to state and national educational standards.

The program is available 24 hours a day through the IRS Web site by typing “Understanding Taxes” in the search box. There are no registration or login requirements to access the program. The IRS plans to update the program each fall to reflect current tax law and new tax forms.

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