The Effect of Different Tax Calculators on the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Research Report

The Effect of Different Tax Calculators on the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Abstract

Income taxes are an important component of the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) but are not reported on the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). Instead, the Census Bureau uses a tax calculation program to calculate taxes for individuals and families in the CPS ASEC. In this paper, we compare the results of the Census Bureau’s tax model with results from three other tax models—TAXSIM, the Bakija model, and TRIM3. We find that the tax models produce similar results and the choice of tax model has little effect on the SPM poverty rate.

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