Structural overview

Tax-Calculator has been designed using object-oriented programming (OOP) principles. There are seven classes and a collection of global utility functions, but most Python programming involves using only a few methods in three classes.

Quick summary

Typical Tax-Calculator usage involves creating two Calculator class objects: both containing the same sample of filing units (that is, Records class object), but each containing a different tax policy (that is, Policy class object). The idea is to compare the calculated tax liabilities of the sample units under the two different tax policies, one of which is usually current-law policy and the other is a tax reform of interest.

  • rec → Records class object.
    Created by Records() when containing IRS-SOI-PUF-derived filing-unit data or created by Records.cps_constructor() when containing CPS-derived filing-unit data.

  • clpPolicy class object containing parameters that characterize current-law policy.
    Created by Policy().

  • refPolicy class object containing parameters that characterize a tax reform.
    Created using a Python dictionary refdict representing the reform by using the implement_reform(refdict) method on a Policy object created by Policy(). Or created using a JSON file filename representing the reform by using the implement_reform(Policy.read_json_reform(filename)) method on a Policy object created by Policy().

  • calc_clp → Calculator class object for current-law policy.
    Created by Calculator(records=rec, policy=clp).

  • calc_ref → Calculator class object for reform policy.
    Created by Calculator(records=rec, policy=ref).

  • calc_all() → Calculator class method that computes tax liability (and many intermediate variables such as AGI) for each filing-unit.

  • itax_clp → Variable containing aggregate income tax liability under current-law policy.
    Created by weighted_total('iitax') method called on calc_clp object after calc_all() called.

  • diff_table → Pandas DataFrame object containing reform-minus-current-law difference table for income tax liability by expanded-income deciles.
    Created by calc_clp.difference_table(calc_ref, 'weighted_deciles', 'iitax') method called after calc_all() has been called on both Calculator objects.

For examples of Python scripts that use these classes and methods, see Recipes.

For detailed documentation and source code for these three classes, see:

Complete story

Tax-Calculator contains eight basic classes, and a collection of global utility functions, that together provide the full range of Tax-Calculator capabilities. Here is a description of their role in Tax-Calculator and a link to each the detailed documentation and source code for each class and all its methods.

Classes

  • Data → Contains basic logic for manipulating cross-sectional data that need to have growth factors and sample weights to age the data to years after the data start year.
    Documentation and source code are in data.py.

  • Records → Derived from Data and contains attributes of each tax filing unit.
    Documentation and source code are in records.py.

  • GrowFactors → Contains CBO-derived baseline annual growth factors that are used to specify price inflation and wage growth rates in the Policy class object and to specify annual growth factors that are applied to monetary attributes of the filing units in the Records class object.
    Documentation and source code are in growfactors.py.

  • Parameters → Contains basic value extrapolation, revision, and validation logic for time-varying parameters that can be any of four types and can be either scalar-valued or vector-valued.
    Documentation and source code are in parameters.py.

  • Policy → Derived from Parameters and contains tax policy parameters.
    Documentation and source code are in policy.py.

  • GrowDiff → Derived from Parameters and contains differences from CBO-derived baseline growth factors in the GrowFactors class object.
    Documentation and source code are in growdiff.py.

  • Consumption → Derived from Parameters and contains parameters related to consumption that are used in the Calculator class object.
    Documentation and source code are in consumption.py.

  • Calculator → Contains a Policy class object, a Records class object, and a Consumption class object, plus functions that contain the logic required to calculate income and payroll tax liability for each filing unit.
    Documentation and source code are in calculator.py and in calcfunctions.py.

Utilities

Documentation and source code for the global utility functions are in utils.py.