TPC's New Tax Calculator

Long in the works, the Tax Policy Center’s new Tax Calculator debuted on our website this week. We designed it to help taxpayers, analysts, and the media see how current tax policy affects real families and what would happen if that policy changed.

To start, either create a taxpayer profile from scratch or choose one of our six sample households:

a non-elderly childless couple

a couple with a child in college

a couple with two children under age 13

a single person

a single mother with two children

a couple over age 65

Then pick an income level: low (20th percentile), median, or high (80th percentile) for your chosen household, or use any value you want.

Finally, choose one of three policy scenarios:

  • 2010 law with all of the 2001-2003 tax cuts still in place
  • 2011 tax law if almost all of the 2001-2003 tax cuts expire as scheduled
  • 2011 tax law if Congress enacts all of President Obama’s budget proposals—primarily extending the 2001-2003 tax cuts for couples with income under $250,000 and singles with income under $200,000 but also keeping the Making Work Pay credit for another year.

Click “Go” to see the income and other numbers for your chosen case and change them if you want to. Then hit “Calculate Tax” and—voila! —you’ll get basic tax info: total income, taxable income, income tax liability, and average and marginal tax rate. (The calculator only shows 2010 taxes for now; TC2.0 will cover more years.)

Want to compare a different policy? Click that choice and new numbers appear.

Want to change income or deductions? Just type in new numbers, and you’ve got another case.

Take the Tax Calculator on a test drive and let us know what you think.