(TNS) — Want to know how much more you may pay in Kansas state income tax for this year?
The Department of Revenue has posted an online calculator to give you at least a rough estimate.
The calculator, at www.kdor.ks.gov/Apps/taxcalculator, allows Kansans to input some of their personal data and estimate their 2017 state tax liability, along with the difference when compared to 2016 rates.
The calculator is designed to help prevent any tax shocks when Kansans file their returns next year, said Rachel Whitten, spokeswoman for the Revenue Department.
“There are a lot of people who may not even know taxes have increased,” Whitten said. And others are “confused about how it’s going to affect their family.”
State officials acknowledge it’s not a perfect tool. It uses standard deductions and exemptions so, as they say in the auto industry, your mileage may vary.
In fact, it’s “strictly prohibited” to use the calculator for preparing your income tax form, according to the instructions.
“If you itemize (deductions), the calculator is probably not going to give you a very accurate number,” Whitten said.
This year, after several years of missed revenue estimates and budget crises, the state Legislature rolled back some of the tax cuts that were passed in 2012 at the request of Gov. Sam Brownback.
Lawmakers overrode a Brownback veto to pass this year’s increases.
The calculator is mainly useful for wage-earning Kansans.
Owners of limited liability companies and similar business entities went untaxed for the past three years, but are returning to the tax rolls this year.
“They shouldn’t be using that (calculator),” Whitten said.
To use the calculator, you start with your filing status: single, married filing jointly or head of household.
Then, you enter your state allowances: One for yourself, one for your spouse and one for each dependent is the rule of thumb, although some people report fewer allowances to ensure they get a refund.
The third variable for the calculator is the adjusted gross income from your federal tax form.
This is not your entire income, but income after taking off tax deductions and credits on your federal tax form.
A good way to rough out that number would be to start with the adjusted gross income from your 2016 tax return, and then add or subtract any raises or pay cuts you’ve gotten in 2017.
Enter that number without commas, because commas will generate an error message.
Then, hit “calculate” and the estimate should pop up.
According to the calculator, a family of four with an average $67,000 adjusted gross income would have paid $1,753 in state income tax under the 2016 tax law.
This year, that would rise to $1874, a difference of $121, which works out to about 33 cents a day.
Whitten said employers should be processing this year’s increased tax liability into the amount withheld from each worker’s paycheck.
However, she said, workers who have concerns about that should consult a tax preparer or their company’s human resources department to ensure that enough is being taken out, if they want to make sure they get a refund rather than a bill when they file next year’s tax return.
Workers can have more money taken out of their paycheck by reducing the number of allowances reported on their K-4 tax form, Whitten said.