How Kotlikoff’s Lifetime Tax Calculator Works

The Fiscal Analyzer (TFA) is a detailed life-cycle consumption-smoothing program that projects income, taxes and spending for people of different ages and wealth levels. It incorporates borrowing constraints, lifespan uncertainty and all major federal and state tax and entitlement programs. TFA calculates for different population groups remaining lifetime taxes and spending along all survival trajectories and then forms their expected present values. The program can be used to analyze inequality, fiscal progressivity, effective marginal rates on working and saving and a host of other economic issues.

The program’s federal tax calculations are based on the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the 2015 changes to Social Security benefits, and the latest state income and sales tax provisions.