How will tax reform affect me?

The short and truthful answer is, I don’t know. But I would like to. So as 2017 comes to an end and tax reform takes effect with the new year, I am beginning a multiyear project to track just how much my wife and I pay in taxes and whether it changes because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (official text; the somewhat unwieldy Wikipedia article about it).

First, where we’ve been. Here is the percentage of our total income (form 1040, line 22) that we’ve paid in federal (form 1040, line 61) and state/local income taxes1 since we got married in 2008, along with major life events that may have affected our tax rate:

Percentage of income paid in income tax (chart)

Year Federal State/local
Total Major life events
2008 10.70% 5.72%
District of Columbia and Prince George’s County, Maryland
16.42% Married
2009 10.87% 4.69%
District of Columbia
2010 10.18% 4.60%
District of Columbia
14.78% First child
2011 8.00% 3.96%
District of Columbia and New York City, New York
11.96% Moved to New York
2012 9.04% 7.50%
New York City, New York
16.54% First full year in New York
2013 8.21% 7.06%
New York City, New York
2014 7.65% 6.95%
New York City, New York
14.61% Second child
2015 7.13% 7.02%
New York City, New York
14.16% Third child
2016 6.87% 6.86%
New York City, New York

Since the tax-reform law didn’t take effect until 1 January 2018, I expect 2017’s taxes to follow the same general trend. As for 2018, I expect a tax cut, and The New York Times has a calculator to give me an idea of how much: 25.53% from the amount we paid in 2016. But time will tell.


United States Capitol by Phil Roeder/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

  1. Our District of Columbia taxes for 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 are listed on form D-40, line 22; Maryland for 2008 on form 502, line 40; New York, city and state, for 2011 on form IT-203, line 59; and New York, city and state, since 2012 on form IT-201, line 61. 

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