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This IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay deals with taxes and whether or not individuals have any additional responsibilities towards society.

I think it is a (very rare!) interesting IELTS question!

Read below for my answer, analysis, vocabulary, practice and more!

Dave

(You can find my sample answers for speaking here, writing task 1 here, writing task 2 here and instead of risking wasting your time and getting a low IELTS score – sign up for my online courses here, corrections here, and Patreon here!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Responsibility, Society, and Taxes (Real Past IELTS Tests)

Some people think that paying taxes is their only responsibility towards society while others feel that everyone should do more.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Tests

Many are of the opinion that taxpayers are fulfilling their obligations to society at large while other feel that responsibilty extends beyond a financial contribution to the government. In my opinion, paying taxes greatly helps fund social programs but individuals have little choice but to do more if they also want to think highly of themselves.

The main reason that many see taxes as enough are the far reaching impact of tax dollars. Take some well-run European socialist countries such as France for example. In France, there are social welfare programs underpinning their progressive society such maternity leave for new mothers, world renowned unemployment benefits, top notch schools, not to mention more basic services like police, fire, and infrastructure maintanence. These are the direct result of taxes and though their net effect varies by implementation in various countries, they are clearly the foundation of stable societies globally.

Despite the discernible impact of taxes, individuals are responsible for their daily decisions related to society. Every job will touch on, with varying degrees of strength, society. A doctor who takes his job seriously, rather than simply trying to push new drugs or unnecessary tests to drive up premiums, helps families in their most dire situations. Even a cashier has a role to play. They can do their job responsibly with a positive attitude and send out other people into society with a good impression or contribute to the rising tide of cynisism in today’s culture. These actions are unavoidable and anyone who feels the need to think of themselves as a good person has no choice but to take up a larger role in making society a better place to live.

In conclusion, thought taxes are part of what a person owes to society, they will necessarily also have a positive or negative day to day impact. People should rightly see their contributions as essentially self-interested excuses to feel good about themselves.

Analysis

1. Many are of the opinion that taxpayers are fulfilling their obligations to society at large while other feel that responsibilty extends beyond a financial contribution to the government. 2. In my opinion, paying taxes greatly helps fund social programs but individuals have little choice but to do more if they also want to think highly of themselves.

  1. Write a simple paraphrase of the topic. Don’t waste time on this sentence.
  2. Give your opinion – be clear!

1. The main reason that many see taxes as enough are the far reaching impact of tax dollars. 2. Take some well-run European socialist countries such as France for example. 3. In France, there are social welfare programs underpinning their progressive society such maternity leave for new mothers, world renowned unemployment benefits, top notch schools, not to mention more basic services like police, fire, and infrastructure maintanence. 4. These are the direct result of taxes and though their net effect varies by implementation in various countries, they are clearly the foundation of stable societies globally.

  1. Your topic sentence should have the topic (taxes) and your main idea (for me it is the impact of tax dollars).
  2. Start your example right away!
  3. Develop that same example. Be speficic and detailed for the rest of your paragraph.
  4. Draw a conclusion/result to your example to conclude the paragraph.

1. Despite the discernible impact of taxes, individuals are responsible for their daily decisions related to society. 2. Every job will touch on, with varying degrees of strength, society. 3. A doctor who takes his job seriously, rather than simply trying to push new drugs or unnecessary tests to drive up premiums, helps families in their most dire situations. 4. Even a cashier has a role to play. 5. They can do their job responsibly with a positive attitude and send out other people into society with a good impression or contribute to the rising tide of cynisism in today’s culture. 6. These actions are unavoidable and anyone who feels the need to think of themselves as a good person has no choice but to take up a larger role in making society a better place to live.

  1. Write another topic sentence – this time my main idea is that people make daily decisions that related to society beyond taxes.
  2. Explain your main idea if necessary.
  3. Here I use a hypothetical example – always have an example.
  4. I switch to a related hypothetical example.
  5. Then I develop those two examples.
  6. Conclude your paragraph.

1. In conclusion, thought taxes are part of what a person owes to society, they will necessarily also have a positive or negative day to day impact. 2. People should rightly see their contributions as essentially self-interested excuses to feel good about themselves.

  1. Restate your opinion.
  2. Add in an extra detail or a final thought for full points for your task achievement score.

Vocabulary

Figure out what the words in bold below mean:

Many are of the opinion that taxpayers are fulfilling their obligations to society at large while other feel that responsibilty extends beyond a financial contribution to the government. In my opinion, paying taxes greatly helps fund social programs but individuals have little choice but to do more if they also want to think highly of themselves.

The main reason that many see taxes as enough are the far reaching impact of tax dollars. Take some well-run European socialist countries such as France for example. In France, there are social welfare programs underpinning their progressive society such maternity leave for new mothers, world renowned unemployment benefits, top notch schools, not to mention more basic services like police, fire, and infrastructure maintanence. These are the direct result of taxes and though their net effect varies by implementation in various countries, they are clearly the foundation of stable societies globally.

Despite the discernible impact of taxes, individuals are responsible for their daily decisions related to society. Every job will touch on, with varying degrees of strength, society. A doctor who takes his job seriously, rather than simply trying to push new drugs or unnecessary tests to drive up premiums, helps families in their most dire situations. Even a cashier has a role to play. They can do their job responsibly with a positive attitude and send out other people into society with a good impression or contribute to the rising tide of cynisism in today’s culture. These actions are unavoidable and anyone who feels the need to think of themselves as a good person has no choice but to take up a larger role in making society a better place to live.

In conclusion, thought taxes are part of what a person owes to society, they will necessarily also have a positive or negative day to day impact. People should rightly see their contributions as essentially self-interested excuses to feel good about themselves.

Answers

fulfilling satisfying

obligations duties

society at large all of the world

extends beyond means more than

financial contribution money given

greatly a lot

fund social programs invest in social welfare

little choice but to must

think highly love

far reaching impact large impact

well-run efficient, good

socialist large government

social welfare programs support for the poor

underpinning serving as the foundation for

progressive society liberal

maternity leave time off for mothers

world renowned unemployment benefits money when you’re not working

top notch schools great schools

not to mention also

direct result clear impact from

net effect varies by implementation different situations

stable societies globally well-rounded countries around the world

discernible impact clear effect

touch on relates to

varying degrees of strength stronger and weaker

takes his job seriously professional

push new drugs recommend pharmaceuticals

unnecessary tests uneeded testing

drive up premiums cost more for insurance

most dire situations worst contexts

responsibly dutifully

positive attitude good outlook

a good impression likeable

rising tide becoming more common

cynisism negative attitude

unavoidable can’t get around/away from

take up a larger role become more important

owes must pay back

day to day every day

rightly correctly

self-interested excuses justifications

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many are of the opinion that taxpayers are ______________ their ______________ to ______________ while other feel that responsibilty ______________ a ______________ to the government. In my opinion, paying taxes ______________ helps ______________ but individuals have ______________ do more if they also want to ______________ of themselves.

The main reason that many see taxes as enough are the ______________ of tax dollars. Take some ______________ European ______________ countries such as France for example. In France, there are ______________ their ______________ such ______________ for new mothers, ______________, ______________, ______________ more basic services like police, fire, and infrastructure maintanence. These are the ______________ of taxes and though their ______________ in various countries, they are clearly the foundation of ______________.

Despite the ______________ of taxes, individuals are responsible for their daily decisions related to society. Every job will ______________, with ______________, society. A doctor who ______________, rather than simply trying to ______________ or ______________ to ______________, helps families in their ______________. Even a cashier has a role to play. They can do their job ______________ with a ______________ and send out other people into society with ______________ or contribute to the ______________ of ______________ in today’s culture. These actions are ______________ and anyone who feels the need to think of themselves as a good person has no choice but to ______________ in making society a better place to live.

In conclusion, thought taxes are part of what a person ______________ to society, they will necessarily also have a positive or negative ______________ impact. People should ______________ see their contributions as essentially ______________ to feel good about themselves.

Pronunciation

fʊlˈfɪlɪŋ 
ˌɒblɪˈgeɪʃənz 
səˈsaɪəti æt lɑːʤ 
ɪksˈtɛndz bɪˈjɒnd 
faɪˈnænʃəl ˌkɒntrɪˈbjuːʃən 
ˈgreɪtli 
fʌnd ˈsəʊʃəl ˈprəʊgræmz 
ˈlɪtl ʧɔɪs bʌt tuː 
θɪŋk ˈhaɪli 
fɑː ˈriːʧɪŋ ˈɪmpækt 
wɛl-rʌn 
ˈsəʊʃəlɪst 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈwɛlfeə ˈprəʊgræmz ˌʌndəˈpɪnɪŋ 
prəʊˈgrɛsɪv səˈsaɪəti 
məˈtɜːnɪti liːv 
wɜːld rɪˈnaʊnd ˌʌnɪmˈplɔɪmənt ˈbɛnɪfɪts
tɒp nɒʧ skuːlz
nɒt tuː ˈmɛnʃən 
dɪˈrɛkt rɪˈzʌlt 
nɛt ɪˈfɛkt ˈveəriz baɪ ˌɪmplɪmɛnˈteɪʃən 
ˈsteɪbl səˈsaɪətiz ˈgləʊbəli
dɪˈsɜːnəbl ˈɪmpækt 
tʌʧ ɒn
ˈveəriɪŋ dɪˈgriːz ɒv strɛŋθ
teɪks hɪz ʤɒb ˈsɪərɪəsli
pʊʃ njuː drʌgz 
ʌnˈnɛsɪsəri tɛsts 
draɪv ʌp ˈpriːmiəmz
məʊst ˈdaɪə ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃənz
rɪsˈpɒnsəbli 
ˈpɒzətɪv ˈætɪtjuːd 
ə gʊd ɪmˈprɛʃən 
ˈraɪzɪŋ taɪd 
cynisism 
ˌʌnəˈvɔɪdəbl 
teɪk ʌp ə ˈlɑːʤə rəʊl
əʊz 
deɪ tuː deɪ 
ˈraɪtli 
sɛlf-ˈɪntrɪstɪd ɪksˈkjuːsɪz 

Listening Practice

Watch the video below to review the vocabulary and topic:

Reading Practice

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/12/rich-people-are-getting-away-not-paying-their-taxes/577798/

Comment your questions below!


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