Free Tax Calculator Estimate Your Tax Refund & Tax Reform Impact

H&R Block's 2017 free income tax calculator is a simple tool to help you easily estimate your tax refund or how much you'll owe, plus your tax reform impact.

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Federal Income Tax and You

Most of us have a responsibility to pay federal personal income tax, whether it is withheld from our paychecks or we mail it in ourselves. But how is income tax calculated? What does the tax return calculator consider? And can you lower the amount you owe? Will tax reform under President Donald Trump affect how much you pay? Read on to learn the ins and outs of federal tax!

Tax Brackets

Tax brackets are often confused with tax rates, but the terms aren't interchangeable. Each bracket holds an amount of income that applies to a tax rate between 10%-39.6%. In other words, if your income falls inside a certain bracket, it will be taxed under that bracket's rate. As your income grows, you move up higher in the tax bracket. Tax reform changed brackets for some filers, so it's important to learn more about how this may affect you.

Filing Status

Filing status determines how much you owe in taxes and how much you get back. It can also impact deductions, credits, and exemptions. Your status will be one of the following: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child. Select your status on the tax refund and tax reform calculator above.

Exemptions Claimed

Tax exemptions lower taxable income on your return. There are several types of exemptions you might be able to claim:

  • Personal exemptions: Note that you can't claim this if you are a dependent.
  • Exemptions for a spouse: If you file a joint return you can claim an exemption for your spouse. If you file separately, you can only claim an exemption if your spouse has no gross income, isn't filing his/her own return, and wasn't the dependent of another taxpayer.
  • Exemptions for a child: You can claim a dependent exemption if they meet the qualifying child test.

Due to tax reform, certain exemptions may have changed from previous years.

Taxable Income (Adjusted Gross Income)

The vast majority of income types can be taxed, such as wages, salaries, tips, commissions, bonuses, vacation pay, sick pay, and severance pay. Winnings from gambling are also taxable. Take a look at our complete list of taxable income to learn more.

Adjusted gross income (AGI) is your total gross income and income from other sources. Taxable income is adjusted gross income minus your deductions.

Deductions Claimed

There are two ways to claim deductions, which can reduce your taxable income and therefore the amount of tax you owe. You can either claim standard deduction, or you can itemize your deductions. Also, keep in mind that the tax reform under President Trump may mean certain deductions are different than in previous years. Take a look at standard vs. itemized deductions so you can figure out the benefits of both before you choose.

Credits Claimed

A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction of income tax based on what you're eligible for. They're only awarded in special circumstances. Some credits are even refundable, meaning you'll get paid that amount even if you don't owe income tax. As with other aspects of U.S. tax reform, tax credits may be different than in previous years.

An example of a tax credit is the Adoption Credit, equal to expenses related to adopting a child.

Learn How The Tax Reform May Affect You With Our Calculator

In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed. This tax reform act was the first major change to the United States tax code since 1986. Before filing your taxes, it’s important to see how U.S. tax reform may affect your bracket, credits, deductions, exemptions and so on.

If you want an estimate of how tax reform under President Trump may affect you, our calculator can help. By answering some simple questions, we can help see what kind of refund you may receive, or if you may owe additional taxes. For more information or for filing assistance, call or visit your local H&R Block branch today.