# Can you reduce your INCOME TAX using a Calculator?

I found this really helpful calculator on Smart Asset to figure out your expenses and offsets to your income tax. If you try to understand where your money goes and how contributing to retirement can offset taxes this might be for you.

Smart Asset also has a really good breakdown of the rules that govern taxes. What they mean as most terms are not exactly friendly to the average Joe. From what I can see, it allows you to make an assessment for real life situations like: If your boss wants to give you a raise this year how would that affect you? Maybe you should wait until next year as it could put you into another tax bracket.

Using the Tax Calculator I created an example household with the income of \$100K. You can see how much is paid in taxes with zero adjustments for 401K and other deductions. It is scary to see how much and how high taxes actually are.

Then:

• Add in (NC taxes) 7% sales tax on average (similar to VAT in Europe)
• Home property taxes (\$1300 to \$3500 on average in Forsyth county).
• Auto taxes – based on value so that adjust annually (don’t forget inspection)
• Other hidden taxes (Fuel taxes in NC were roughly .45 cents per gallon

You now can start to see and understand what is left, for you and yours. It really is a little disturbing. I am all for paying taxes and my fair share as Jesus said In Mark 12: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”. If God asks for 10% (hello the creator of the universe) to be given to your Church – what makes it OK for man and politicians to take more than that? Why is it OK? You should ask these questions and discuss with your friends, neighbors and politicians. Once you total these numbers up for a household income of \$100K would pay roughly + or – 44% of taxes. I don’t know about you, we don’t get 44% of services rendered.

 Tax Type Marginal Tax Rate Effective Tax Rate Tax Amount Federal 25.00% 18.05% \$18,047 FICA 7.65% 7.65% \$7,650 State 5.75% 5.31% \$5,310 Local 0.00% 0.00% \$0 Total Income Taxes \$31,008 Income After Taxes \$68,992

Back to the calculator – select the ADVANCED mode, you can start to plug in your contributions and deductions. A real helpful tool for you to see and understand how much taxes your are paying and how 401(k) Contribution, IRA Contribution, Itemized Deductions Number of Personal Exemptions will affect the overall amount of cash going back to the Government and keeping it in your pocket.

“Methodology
In this income tax calculator we calculate the federal, state and local tax burden based on your taxable income. First we calculate Adjusted Gross Income by taking your household income and making relevant adjustments including, for example, subtractions for student loan interest payments and contributions to an IRA. Then we subtract exemptions and deductions.”

Here is the link to the income tax calculator

They also have other calculators and other information that includes: