Tax group unveils Bush tax cut calculator

"The fate of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts remains uncertain, and congressional leaders seem poised to leave things that way through the August recess — and perhaps through the November elections," said Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge. "Regardless of what happens, our tax calculator, at mytaxburden.org, can help give taxpayers a better sense of how these policies will affect them."

Tax writers in both chambers are wrestling with extending at least some of the Bush tax cuts.

Democratic leaders have repeatedly stated that tax cuts benefiting individuals earning over $200,000 and joint filers earning more than $250,000 should expire. But some members within the party feel any expiration should be postponed until the economy is stronger. They argue a tax increase would take money out of circulation and hinder economic growth.

If Democrats allow the tax cuts for wealthier taxpayers to expire, the Tax Foundation calculator shows a family of four earning $500,000, and $65,000 in investment or other income would pay approximately $22,000 more in taxes than if current law were extended.

If all the Bush tax cuts expire, which Democrats say is unlikely to happen, a married couple earning $80,000 with two children would pay $2,137 more in taxes than if current law were extended.