While we're waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to update tax forms and publications and reprogram its computers to mesh with the new fiscal cliff tax bill changes, we can entertain ourselves by running some numbers in connection with our 2013 taxes.
Last week I mentioned the Tax Foundation's fiscal cliff tax law changes calculator.
I also just ran across the Tax Policy Center's update of its online numbers cruncher.
The TPC folks have plugged in the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012 data.
As in its earlier calculator versions, the Tax Policy Center has created sample taxpayers that are representative of many families and individuals in specific income and demographic groups.
You can use those examples -- and I just have to say again how much I love those graphics! -- or make your own changes to the sample filers' incomes and expenses.
With the enactment of ATRA -- it was signed into law by the president's autopen on Jan. 3 since he had gone back to Hawaii to finish up his holiday vacation with his family -- you can get an idea of how those new tax provisions, as well as the old tax laws that were renewed, will affect your 2013 taxes.
You also can look at what might have been if the 2012 law with alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch and all of the 2001-2003 and 2009 stimulus tax provisions had been put in place instead.Or you can check out the effect on your tax bill if the pre-fiscal-cliff laws, including the expiration of most of the Bush tax cuts (are the rates retained in ATRA now the Obama tax cuts?), the new taxes associated with healthcare reform and no AMT patch or payroll tax cut were on the books.
Whew! That is a whole lot of tax scenarios.
But there's one more.
Don't forget the payroll tax's return to 6.2 percent. Starting on Jan. 1, that amount instead of 4.2 percent is once again taken out of worker's paychecks.
The Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog has a calculator that will let you see what damage the 2 percentage point tax increase will do to your take home pay.
I know what I'll be doing the rest of my Saturday!You also might find these items of interest: