Dr. Sarah's Homer Tax Lab

NAME_______________________________________ Circle one as your class time 9:30 or 11:00

Homer realizing that he has a "to-do" pile with tax info on top.

Homer frantically trying to do his taxes

Homer throwing his tax return into the closing post office doors.

Homer being hauled off by the IRS for a severe audit.
Goals of this lab: Fill out a tax return, learn about tax consequences and do advanced searches on the web. There is a ton of information available on the web - one of the most useful things you will learn in lab (in order to satisfy the computer designator) will be how to effectively search for information.
        While the Simpsons are humorous, we only use them in class when they can help us learn mathematics or serve some other important course goal. In this case, we use the Simpsons to learn about advanced searching techniques on the web, and to lighten up the tax return process! You will be responsible for advanced web searching techniques. Also, be careful to answer all questions beginning with a bold dot and to follow directions very carefully. Homer gets into trouble with his tax return in the Trouble with Trillions 5F14 (4/5/98) Using Netscape, open up Homer's Tax Lab from the main class web page.

To fill out a real tax return for him, we need a copy of one of his paychecks that includes his gross pay and his net pay.
  • From www.yahoo.com, use effective searching techniques learned in the stock market intro to try and find a web page containing Homer's full paycheck info. Recall that an effective search for the homework was
    +"Appalachian Power"   +AJA
    where quotes tell the search engine to find pages with that phrase in it, while +word is used to tell it to find that word in it. Some additional suggestions:
    1. Note that you may want
      as one of your searching words. I recommend the * after Simpson so that it will return pages with Simpson, Simpsons, or Simpson's in them. I.e. Simpson* in a search directs the engine to find pages with anything after Simpson.
    2. Note that if you search with
      +Homer   +Simpson*
      then you come up with way too many web page links to click on, so you need more effective searching.
    3. Once you have found promising website links, then you can click on a link to go to that page. It would take a long time if we had to read through entire web pages to find info we want. There is a better way:
      Searching within a web page Under EDIT, go to FIND..., type in one word you want to find in a web page.
      Searching within an adobe acrobat .pdf file Just above the page itself, look for the BINOCULARS, and click on them. Then type in the word you want to find in the page and then click on FIND.
  • Write down Homer's complete paycheck information (this must include gross and net pay, and withholding/tax information).

  • Write down the web address of the web page that contained Homer's paycheck.

  • Write down the exact searching words (+blah +"something else"...) that enabled you to find the web page by searching in my.yahoo.com.

  • Write down the word that you used to find the paycheck within the web page or adobe file (#3 above).

  • Prepare a tax return for Homer on the sheets that I handed out to you - ie skip to "Dr. Sarah's tax lab continued" and return here only when you have completed and signed the tax return. Be careful filling out the return! Does Homer pay additional tax money or get a refund? How much?

  • The following is worth much more than the other questions: Given that Homer was audited in the episode, what advice do you have for Homer now that you have filled out his tax return?

  • Each person (not group!) will turn in:
    This sheet filled out, the tax lab continued sheet filled out, and Homer's completed tax return.
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