The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has published a new, Web-based tax calculator called Total Tax Insights.
The Total Tax Insights calculator is designed to display the dollar amounts paid on various federal, state and local taxes. The calculator is capable of calculating federal income taxes for 2012, Social Security and Medicare taxes, state income taxes (based on 2011 tax rules), and will display calculations for cell phone taxes, gasoline taxes, hotel taxes, cigarette and alcohol taxes, and sales tax. The calculator also displays the total of all these taxes, and the percentage of income these taxes represent.
It's important to point out that this calculator is not meant to be a full-fledged tax calculator. It's also important to point out that Web site promises that the financial data entered "is not stored or saved on a server or your computer's disk drive, nor is the tax data stored or transmitted anywhere else."
I like the concept of knowing how much of my income goes to various taxes. For me, knowing this percentage is a handy budgeting tool as well as making visible all the various taxes that I encounter in everyday life. Some of which (like the various sales and excise taxes) are easy to overlook because they don't show up on the annual tax return.
I do wish the tax calculator offered more interactive features. It would be interesting to be able to compare the same financial scenario across different localities. But this is a minor concern, since one could use this calculator over again to construct such comparisons.
Other tax calculators that I'm aware include TurboTax's TaxCaster, H&R Block's Tax Estimator, Bankrate's 1040 tax calculator, and the specialized withholding and net paycheck calculator from PaycheckCity.