AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- How far would you personally fall off the "fiscal cliff"? A new, free online calculator from CreditCards.com provides the answer, helping readers estimate the impact that the expiration of federal tax breaks -- the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- would have on their own budgets.
"We wanted to give people a tool that would help them cut through the complexity of the tax changes," Editor-in-Chief Daniel P. Ray said.
Users of the calculator type in their income, then select their exemptions and filing status. The calculator computes their combined federal income and Social Security taxes under current rates, and the larger, "post-cliff" tax bill using rates scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1.The calculator accompanies an article that details the effect of the fiscal cliff on different groups, and provides advice about how to minimize the impact where possible.People at the higher end of the income scale will face the biggest tax hikes under the fiscal cliff scenario in dollar terms, but many lower-income earners will see larger percentage increases. For example, a single person making $15,000 and having only one exemption would see a $555 increase in the combined bill for income tax and Social Security taxes, or nearly 49 percent more than under current rates. Alternatively, a married couple filing jointly with three exemptions and a $125,000 income would face $6,135 more in taxes -- a 28 percent increase. And if they claim child tax credits, the bill could rise by $500 per child, as current levels of the credit are reduced. The calculator is at http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/fiscal_cliff-calculator-1701.php. The accompanying article is at http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/fiscal_cliff-what-to-do-finances-1282.php. About CreditCards.comCreditCards.com is the leading online credit card marketplace connecting consumers with multiple credit card issuers, including a majority of the 10 largest in the United States, based on credit card transaction volume. CreditCards.com, http://www.creditcards.com, enables consumers to search for, compare and apply for credit cards and offers credit card issuers an online channel to acquire qualified applicants. SOURCE CreditCards.com