Bush Tax Cut Proposal Calculator (Basic Version)

Check out the Detailed Calculator

Enter your information below and find out how much you would pay in taxes in 2013 under the different scenarios that Congress is considering.

This calculator does not work for people with Social Security benefits or negative income or people with unusual situations (like couples who are married but files their taxes separately).


a. For more information about the competing approaches to extending most or all of the Bush tax cuts, visit http://www.ctj.org/bushtaxcuts2012.php

b. This calculator addresses the Bush income tax cuts, which include changes in the regular income tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), but not the Bush estate tax cuts (which only affect the very wealthiest families). CTJ's figures showing the average tax cuts for people in different income groups under different approaches to extending the tax cuts include both the Bush income tax cuts and the Bush estate tax cuts, as explained in this recent report: http://www.ctj.org/bushtaxcuts2012/us.pdf

c. This calculator assumes that President Obama's approach includes an extension of some 2009 provisions that expanded parts of the Bush tax cuts that benefit low-income families (provisions related to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.) For details of the President's approach and the Congressional Republicans' approach, see this recent report: http://www.ctj.org/bushtaxcuts2012/us.pdf

d. The calculation of Social Security and Medicare taxes includes the provision of the health care reform law that will effectively increase Medicare taxes for high-income households starting in 2013. We assume this this tax increase will occur in any of these three scenarios because we assume any change in Medicare taxes would be separate from legislation addressing the expiring Bush tax cuts.

e. The Tax Foundation has an online calculator that comes to some different conclusions because it starts with different assumptions. The default options assume that any extension of tax cuts would include an extension of the payroll tax holiday in effect this year, as well as the Bush income tax cuts, but there have been very few, if any, calls in Congress for doing this. The default options in the Tax Foundation calculator also assume the enactment of President Obama's "Buffett Rule" and his proposal to allow no more than 28 cents in tax breaks for each dollar of certain deductions and exclusions claimed by high-income taxpayers. Our online calculator addresses only the competing proposals to extend most or all of the Bush tax cuts. Later in the summer we will provide another online tax calculator that includes the other tax proposals of President Obama and his presidential election opponent, Mitt Romney. Finally, the Tax Foundation calculator also assumes that employees only pay the half of the 12.4 percent Social Security tax and half of the 2.9 Medicare tax. It's true that employees only pay half of these taxes directly while employers directly pay the other half, but economists agree that even the half of these taxes paid by employers is ultimately borne by employees in the form of reduced compensation.