Do the ASEC tax variables, e.g. "MARGTAX" , take the Alternative Minimum Tax into account?


I understand the survey does not ask tax questions to households and that the tax variables are computed using some kind of tax simulation software. Unfortunately, there is no variable regarding the AMT and whether it binds for a household. This seems important to understand the actual marginal tax rates that high income households are facing.


Sorry for the delay on responding to this question. We were communicating with our contacts at the Census Bureau about this topic. The documentation on the CPS tax model is not great, but don’t take this to mean that the methods are not sound. The Census Bureau goes to great lengths to ensure that the tax model provides accurate information. Our communications with the Census Bureau along with information discussed here and here suggest that, yes, the AMT is included in the CPS tax model. Although there is no individual level AMT variable, the aggregations of the tax information does account for the AMT within the calculation of taxes.