Skip to main content

Economics of Energy and Employment (Physics-Econ Project)

Investigating Taxes and Energy Tax Credits: Steps to Becoming Independent 


Understanding taxes and withholding

1 and 2) Do Modules #1 and #2 on basic types of taxes and withholding


3 and 4) Do tax simulations #1 and #2 on how to fill out W-4 and 1040EZ forms


**In your class notebook/binder, write down 1 question you have about EACH "module" or simulation. At the end, you should have 4 questions written down**



5) Look up starting salary on one of the following assigned STEM-related careers. Write down in your notebook the starting salary.


Student A - High school diploma only (go to, and choose "high school diploma or equivalent" under the drop-down menu for Entry Level Education, and "None" for On-the-job training. Pick a job from that list.)

    Student B - Job: Nurse or Pharmacist

    Student C - Degree: Chemistry

    Student D - Degree: Computer Science


6) Then, using the same sites, look up more detailed salary information on your personal career choice in 5 years. Write down in your notebook the starting salary for that job.


Energy credits


7) Research on one possible IRS energy credit, Solar Power, and do a cost benefit analysis on solar power to see if it is an option for your own home


Calculate whether solar power is cost effective for your own home:


8) Explore different energy credits by IRS

Hybrid cars: 


    Student A – Getting solar panels installed

    Student B – Buying a Prius Hybrid

    Student C – Buying a Plug-in Prius

    Student D – Buying a Tesla Model 3


9) Research on energy subsidies and see why/if we need them


10) Additional Reading: Economics of Renewable Energy and Cost Benefit Analysis (see the section on subsidies beginning page 27)


11) With your personal career choice and its starting salary, look up the current tax rate and tax brackets. 

Write it down in your notebook .


12) Practice filling out W-4 and 1040EZ forms using the W2 of Billy H Dumb

Copy of the W-4 Form and Worksheet

Copy of 1040EZ Form and Worksheet


p.18 Earned Income Credit Table (for line 7 of your tax form)

p.33 Tax Table (for line 10 of your tax form)