Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Calculator

The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center’s (TPC’s) online tax calculator shows how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) affects the individual income tax paid by sample taxpayers in 2018. You can use the default options we created for people in various income groups, or you can create your own taxpayer profile.

If you want to see how we created the default scenarios, click here. For a detailed description of the methodology behind this calculator, see our methodology page.

TPC’s online tax calculator estimates how the TCJA affects typical taxpayers. To make it easy to use, we left out many items that would be included on an actual tax return. Thus, the tax calculator is not a tax preparation tool, and the results it produces cannot be applied to specific tax situations.

We welcome any feedback on the calculator, either on its design or on how we modeled the provisions of the bill, because we are constantly working to improve our products. You can email info@taxpolicycenter.org with comments.

Select a Scenario

[+] Create Your Own Scenario

Select an Income level

Default income values are typical amounts for taxpayers at five percentiles of the income distribution for the type of household chosen. The five levels are (1) low: 20th percentile; (2) middle: 50th percentile; (3) high: 80th percentile; (4) very high: 99th percentile; and (5) highest: 99.9th percentile.

Income ranges reflect the scenario chosen above.

Select Demographic Information

Choose the marital status of the taxpayer(s), choose whether the taxpayer (and spouse, if married) is age 65 or over, and choose whether the taxpayer (and spouse, if married) is attending college at least half time.

Marital Status

Age

in College

Spouse’s age

Spouse in College

Select Dependents Information

Choose the number of dependents (up to seven). For each dependent, choose an age range or, if the dependent is ages 19 to 25, whether the dependent is a full-time student.

Total Dependents

First Dependent is

Second Dependent is

Third Dependent is

Fourth Dependent is

Fifth Dependent is

Sixth Dependent is

Seventh Dependent is

Provide Income Sources

For the principal taxpayer, all income from paid employment, including tips, bonuses, and the like.
For the spouse of the taxpayer, all income from paid employment, including tips, bonuses, and the like.
Interest paid on savings accounts and other financial investments, other than tax-exempt interest.
Interest on instruments such as municipal bonds that is exempt from the federal individual income tax.
Qualified dividends received. Enter nonqualified dividends as taxable interest income.
Gains on assets held for longer than one year. Enter short-term capital gains as taxable interest income.
Taxable portion of payments during retirement from plans (pension, 401(k), etc.) tied to previous employment.
All benefits for retirees, survivors, and dependents.
Health insurance premiums paid by employers (including any employee amount paid with pretax dollars).
Income from all other taxable sources.
Net income from a sole proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, limited liability company, or other business. All net income will be treated as earned by the primary taxpayer for purposes of calculating self-employment payroll taxes.
Professional services businesses (e.g., doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.) are those in which the specified service limitation of the 20 percent qualified business income deduction applies for high-income taxpayers.

Provide Deductions and Expenses

Donations to charitable organizations or causes.
Qualifying medical expenses include out-of-pocket medical expenses on preventive care, treament, surgeries, and dental and vision care. Enter the total amount of expenses, not just the deductible portion.
Interest paid on student loans.
Expenses for postsecondary education (e.g., tuition, textbooks, and school fees)
Mortgage interest paid on primary residence.
Income or sales tax payments (excluding property taxes) to state and local governments.
Real estate (property) tax payments to state and local governments.
Child care expenses for all children under age 13.

Tax Laws Compared

The calculator compares the tax liability for the chosen household/income combination under two alternative tax laws: 1) pre-TCJA reflects the tax rules that would have applied in 2018 prior to the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; and 2) TCJA Law reflects actual 2018 tax laws after the passage of the TCJA. The calculator takes accounts of the most widely used aspects of the tax code but does not include all provisions.

Pre-TCJA: Pre-TCJA Tax Law measures the total amount of federal individual income tax and payroll tax owed under the law prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

TCJA Law: TCJA measures the total amount of federal individual income tax and payroll tax owed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Potential 2018 Tax Implications

Pre-TCJA
x
y
z
The above number is the estimated tax liability under the law prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for a person or family that fits the marital status, income, and expenses that you selected.
TCJA Law
x
y
z
The above number is the estimated tax liability under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for a person or family that fits the marital status, income, and expenses that you selected.
See Detailed Breakdown

Taxes

Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Cash income

(includes employer’s share of payroll tax)

Income from all sources plus the employer’s share of the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare.
Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Adjusted gross income Total income subject to tax after adjustment for exclusions and additions. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Taxable income Adjusted gross income minus personal exemptions, the standard or itemized deductions, and qualified business income deductions allowed under the regular income tax. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Income tax liability Amount of income tax owed, net of any allowed credits. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Net investment income tax

(included in income tax liability)

Additional tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act on high-income taxpayers’ investment income above specified thresholds.
Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Payroll tax liability

(includes both employee and employer shares)

Taxes imposed from wage, salary, and other equivalent income that finance Social Security and Medicare. Includes both employer and employee shares.
Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Additional Medicare payroll tax

(included in payroll taxes)

Additional tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act on high-income taxpayers’ earnings above specified thresholds.
Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Total tax liability

(includes income and payroll taxes)

Equal to the household’s income tax liability plus its payroll tax liability.
Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Average income tax rate Income tax liability measured as a percentage of total cash income (not taxable income). Pre-TCJA TCJA Law

Taxable Income Calculation

Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Adjusted gross income Total income subject to tax after adjustment for exclusions and additions. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Personal exemptions A fixed-dollar reduction in taxable income for each taxpayer and each qualifying dependent. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Standard deduction A fixed-dollar reduction in taxable income for each tax return, for taxpayers who elect not to itemize specific deductions. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Itemized deductions Total expenses that taxpayers can itemize (net of limitations), including state and local taxes, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and other items. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Qualified business income deduction A reduction in taxable income for up to 20 percent of qualified business income. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Taxable income Adjusted gross income minus personal exemptions, the standard or itemized deductions, and qualified business income deductions allowed under the regular income tax. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law

Regular Tax Calculation

Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Tax before credits Income tax liability before subtracting allowed tax credits. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Child/family tax credit

(partially refundable)

Partially refundable tax credit per dependent child.

Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Earned income tax credit

(fully refundable)

Refundable tax credit based on taxpayer’s earnings and number of children; credit phases out for higher-income households.

Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Education credits

(partially refundable)

Total education tax credits (partially refundable American opportunity tax credit and nonrefundable lifetime learning tax credit).

Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Child and dependent care credit

(not refundable)

Nonrefundable tax credit subsidizing child and dependent care costs for taxpayers who work (or, for some couples, who attend school).
Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Total nonrefundable credits Sum of the child and dependent care credit, the lifetime learning credit, and the nonrefundable portions of the child tax credit and the American opportunity tax credit. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Total refundable credits Sum of the earned income tax credit and refundable portions of the child tax credit and the American opportunity tax credit. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Regular income tax after credits Tax owed to the government or, if negative, the payment from the government before the AMT (if applicable). Pre-TCJA TCJA Law

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Calculation

Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Taxable income Adjusted gross income minus personal exemptions, the standard or itemized deductions, and qualified business income deductions allowed under the regular income tax. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
(+) AMT adjustments Additions to regular taxable income of deductions, exemptions, and exclusions not allowed under the AMT. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
(-) AMT exemption Fixed dollar amount exempt from AMT in addition to specific “nonpreference” items exempt from the tax. Exemption phases out at high incomes. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Taxable income for AMT purposes Regular taxable income plus AMT adjustments minus applicable AMT exemption. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
Tentative AMT AMT liability obtained by applying AMT tax rates to AMT taxable income. Used to determine whether taxpayer owes AMT. Pre-TCJA TCJA Law
AMT liability

(in addition to regular tax liability)

AMT that tax unit owes in addition to its regular tax liability.
Pre-TCJA TCJA Law

Credits

Project Credits

TPC is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. TPC is made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government. It aims to provide independent analyses of current and longer-term tax issues and to communicate its analyses to the public and to policymakers in a timely and accessible manner. TPC combines top national experts in tax, expenditure, budget policy, and microsimulation modeling to concentrate on four overarching areas of tax policy that are critical to future debate.

RESEARCH: Tax Policy Center Staff

DEVELOPMENT: David D’orio, Jessica Kelly, Alyssa Harris, Philip Stallworth, Daniel Berger, and Roberton Williams