Federal Tax Brackets

The United States imposes tax on income using progressive rates. That means that a person's tax liabilities gradually increases as income increases. There are currently seven tax brackets, ranging from 10% to 39.6%. A tax bracket is a range of income amounts that are taxed at a particular rate which dependent upon the filing status the tax payer. Each year the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updates rate schedules in accordance with inflation and cost of living increases in the previous year. Here are the tax bracket and rates from 2012 to 2017. Find your filing status, and compare you income to the amounts listed to find your tax rate.


Tax Year:
Filing Status:
If your taxable income is between... your tax bracket is:
and %
and %
and %
and %
and %
and %
and %

Tax Brackets and Effective Tax Rates

When someone asks what tax bracket you fall into, they generally want to know your "marginal tax rate". This is the tax bracket that your last dollar of income falls into, and therefore the highest tax rate you pay on the "last dollar" you earn. If your marginal tax rate is, for example, 25%. That doesn't mean that ALL of your income is taxed at 25%. Income is actually taxed at different rates. Here's how it works: Suppose that your taxable income (after adjustments, deductions and exemptions) is $40,000 in 2012 and your filing status is single. Your ordinary income tax would be calculated like this:

($ 8,700   minus   0 )   x .10 :      $   870.00
( 35,350   minus   8,700 )   x .15 : 3,997.50
( 40,000   minus   35,350 )   x .25 : 1,162.50
    Total:   $ 6,030.00

If you divide you tax by your total income (then multiply by 100), you would get your "effective tax rate" (about 15%). The effective tax rate is the amount a taxpayer pays in taxes as a percentage of total income. This is the actual rate you pay on your taxes, regardless of your marginal tax rate.

The next calculator helps you play it with your numbers:

Tax Year:
Filing Status:
Your Taxable Income: $
Your Tax: $

Other Tax Rate

Different types of income are taxed at different rates. The above tax rates apply only to the "Ordinary Income" (wages and interest etc.) after adjustments, deductions, and exemptions. Qualified Dividends and Long Term Capital Gains are taxed at special tax rates.

See our Capital Gain or Loss Tax Calculator for more.