Brief Simulating Income Tax Liabilities in the Survey of Consumer Finances
William G. Gale, Swati Joshi, Christopher Pulliam, John Sabelhaus
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This policy brief summarizes a new paper (Gale et al. 2022a) in which we develop and refine methods for estimating income tax liabilities in public-use Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) micro data files. Most recently conducted in 2019, the SCF is a triennial household survey with extensive demographic, income, and balance sheet information, for the designated survey respondent, and if present, the respondent’s spouse/partner. The survey also collects basic demographic information, financial dependency indicators, and summary income measures for up to ten additional household members. The SCF is unique among public-use household surveys because it oversamples wealthy households and is thus suitable for studying trends in top wealth and income shares (Bhutta et al. 2020; Bricker et al. 2016). Like most household surveys, however, the SCF does not ask detailed questions about household tax filing or tax liabilities.

Research Areas Taxes and budgets
Tags Individual taxes
Policy Centers Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center