Talking taxes tonight with a nerd
Federal prosecutors are getting a terrible return on their, and our taxpayer-financed, courtroom investments

Do you know how much you pay in federal, state and local taxes?

When we talk about taxes, most of the time we focus on the amount of federal income tax we pay.

That's understandable. We're all concerned about our take-home pay and Uncle Sam's portion of our earnings is substantial.

But he's not the only tax collector getting some a lot of our money.

Now you can get an idea of how much of your money is going to the Internal Revenue Service and other tax offices.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has developed an online tax calculator called Total Tax Insights that provides a breakout of your annual federal, state and local tax liabilities.

You pick your state, enter your county and plug in your numbers. Click calculate and you'll get a list showing just how much you pay in:

Income Related Taxes Personal Expenses Taxes
Federal income Federal cell phone
State income State cell phone
Social Security Federal gasoline
Medicare State gasoline
Self-employment Hotel accommodations
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Cigarette
  State alcohol
Home Related Taxes  
Real estate (real property) Other Taxes
Electricity Sales/use
Natural gas Personal property
Federal land line telephone  
State land line telephone  

The calculator also tallies the total of all these taxes, as well as the percentage of income they represent.

The colorful pie chart below is the graphic representation of my taxes based on my down-and-dirty entries.

AICPA Total Tax Insights exampleClick pie chart for a larger view.

Of course, the Total Tax Insights calculator is for entertainment purposes only.

A big reason why it's just for fun is that the calculator takes into account only the most widely assessed taxes. There are just way too many taxes at all governmental levels, notes the AICPA, to include them all.

Plus, says the accountants group, many credits, deductions, subtractions and additions are beyond the calculator's scope.

As for the tax rates used, some are actual percentages (2012 rates for federal calculations and 2011 data for state and local calculations), but others are based on averages and approximations.

Finally, if you're a bit leery about entering your personal info, don't be.

The AICPA promises that any info you enter into the calculator "is not stored or saved on a server or your computer's disk drive, nor is the tax data stored or transmitted anywhere else."

You also might find these items of interest:


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Bob Cavalluzzi

And let's not forget about those "hidden" taxes, such as tolls, use fees, etc. I can even make the argument that surcharges and fees attached to traffic tickets and the like are actually taxes in disguise. Politicians will forever attempt to come up with ways to raise funds in creative ways that allow them to state that they haven't raised taxes, but somehow will allow them to continue to raise governmental budgets and spending.

A rose by any other name...

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