CIA

Average Tax Rates for Married Filing Separately: 2009

The fourth in series of infographics I am designing to illustrate the average federal tax rate applied to different salaries. This time I am graphing the average tax rates for someone while married is filing a separate tax return from their spouse. The difference between this graph and that of a single taxpayer is that the cut offs for 28%, 33% and 35% rates are lower which will increases the average tax rates for people with an income over $78,000.

The income tax graph is created from the 2009 tax schedule for someone married filing separately from their spouse:

which you can find from the IRS Tax Tables here while the information about the social security and medicare tax can be found here.

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Average Tax Rates up to $400,000 for Single Filers: 2009

UPDATE 3/17/2010: I added more information about marginal tax rates by graphing the combined marginal tax rate line in the last graph. Also clarified that the employer-side of the payroll taxes are not included The first of series of infographics I am designing to illustrate the average federal tax rate applied to different salaries. I want to show how the marginal income tax rates + social security and medicare taxes combine together for a single taxpayer up to $400,000. (This graphic does not include payroll taxes paid by the employer.)

A little background about this data. If you take a look at your W-2 form you can see that there are 3 different taxes applied to salaries and wages:

The income tax graph is created from the 2009 tax schedule for a single taxpayer:

which you can find from the IRS Tax Tables here while the information about the social security and medicare tax can be found here.

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Making Sense out of Numbers

I was able to attend the Seminar on Innovative Approaches to Turn Statistics into Knowledge held at the Census Bureau in DC last week. It was an interesting mix of officials from government statistical offices, central banks with academics and designer/data geeks. Some of the highlights: Amanda Cox from the New York Time talking about how she is a like a tour bus driver describing the interesting stuff she finds, That she believes in visualizations that pull something forward while pushing back the rest of the data, have an annotation layer. Also that distributions are more interesting than averages, and when you have something move make sure you know why it is moving. Some of these principals you can see here and here

Helen North from the South Africa's Stats Office talking about the need to build trust in the data as well as to educate people in the uses of their data. This was accomplished by bringing together the delegates from the local municipalities so that they could learn about, discuss and debate with each other the demographic statistics collected about their home districts.

Irene Ros from ManyEyes talking about people uploading their personnel data (Warcraft stats, Facebook friends). She described how hey were using this tool to create "Data Mirrors" i.e. a picture about themselves. Also she mentioned that 88% of Wordle users feel creative when using the tool.

Jim Ridgway from Durham University's Smart Centre talked about students (14-15 year old) when face with a media story and data about the same subject were able to critique the story using the data and in some case spontaneously found more data to include in their critique.

David Spiegelhalter from Cambridge University demonstrated a very interesting site designs used to explain uncertainty to people. He stressed that there was no one right method as different people responded to different methods. During the discussion he brought up an important point to keep in mind when creating visualizations: what is the purpose behind the visualizations? Is it the

  1. WOW! reaction?
  2. to increase knowledge?
  3. or to effect behavior?
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Difference between US 3-Month T-bills vs Fed Funds: 1956-2008

Interest Rates and Fed Funds

I plotted the historical spread between Effective Fed Funds rate and US 3-Month T-bills back to 1956 using the weekly average. This a companion graph to Anatomy of a Financial Crisis: September 2008 

Data from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

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