- Social Security $3,100
- Medicare $725
- Federal income tax (after Making Work Pay Credit of $400) $6,075
- California income tax $2,080
- California use tax $13 (Jane is a compliant taxpayer! She also paid lots of sales tax.)
Jane's federal tax receipt shows (with my commentary):
- Social Security $3,100 (this should be $6,200 to include what Jane's employer paid which otherwise would most likely have been extra wages for Jane)
- Medicare $725 (this should be $1,450 for same reason as above)
- Defense $1,598 (the largest amount other than Social Security)
- Health Care $1,477
- Job & Family Security $1,331
- Education & Jobs $293
- Veteran Benefits $250
- Natural Resources, Energy, Environment $128
- International Affairs $103
- Science, Space, Tech $73
- Immigration and related $122
- Agriculture $50
- Community Development $30
- Natural Disaster Response $24
- Other $146
- Net interest expense $450 (perhaps instead of giving Jane a Making Work Pay Credit of $400, that should have been used to pay down the debt)
Jane's California taxpayer receipt for $2,080 of state income tax shows:
WHAT'S MISSING? Plenty! (and see my prior post- 10/14/10)
- What is Jane's total federal income tax? The White House tells Jane to pull the number from line 55 of Form 1040. But that is before her tax credits. Since the tax credits are not included in the spending amounts (most likely), she should pull her line 55 amount and subtract credits from it to get her federal tax paid (Jane got the Making Work Pay Credit in 2010). In fact, the Form 1040 should be re-ordered to make it obvious what her net federal tax liability is or have a line at the very end to show this. That would result in greater transparency (and we also know that many people think what they owe on April 15 or get as a refund is their actual federal income tax).
- Jane also paid some portion of the federal and California (and other state) corporate income tax.
- As noted above, the payroll taxes Jane's employer paid should be attributed to her since without them, her wages would have been higher.
- Jane likely also paid about $1,000 of sales tax.
- Jane also paid various federal and state excise taxes and various local taxes such as a utility user tax.
- The expenditure amounts above are not accurate because of spending that is in the tax rules (special deductions, exclusions and credits) that don't show up in the agency budgets. For example, for 2010, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that higher education related tax expenditures were $18 billion (JCS-3-10, pages 44-45). Jane did not claim any of these benefits, but through higher taxes, she in effect, paid them. That is, without these tax provisions, her overall tax bill could have been lower.
- What is Jane's share of the national debt? About $46,000! ($14.2 trillion debt/311 million people in the US)
- What is Jane's average federal income tax rate? 12% This information, along with her marginal tax rate (next), may be useful to Jane as she listens to tax reform debates. Her average CA income tax rate is 4%.
- What is Jane's marginal federal income tax rate? 25%
- What would her receipt look like if federal spending percentages of five and ten years ago had been used? Data is most useful when compared to something.
- What were average federal tax bills in different income quintiles? Again, data is most useful when compared to something.
What do you think? What additional information do you think Jane should have?