Citizens for Tax Justice has a new online calculator that will tell you what you’d pay in federal taxes in 2013 under three different hypothetical scenarios:
1) Congress did nothing during the New Year and allowed the “fiscal cliff” to take effect.
2) Congress extended all tax cuts in effect in 2012 and delayed all tax increases that were scheduled to go into effect.
3) Congress enacted the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which extended most, but not all tax cuts. This is what actually happened.
The calculator illustrates the impact of the changes in personal income taxes (the expiration of some of the Bush tax cuts for the very rich and the extension of some 2009 provisions expanding the EITC and Child Tax Credit) as well as the health reform-related change to the Medicare tax and the expiration of the Social Security tax holiday.
The calculator demonstrates to the vast majority Americans that their personal income taxes are no different than they would be if all the Bush tax cuts were extended. (A CTJ fact sheet explains that less than one percent of Americans lost any part of the Bush tax cuts under the fiscal cliff deal that was enacted.)
But the calculator also demonstrates that the expiration of the payroll tax holiday — which lawmakers of both parties barely bothered to debate at all — affects middle-income people.