The Laymen Guide to Federal Tax Brackets

Wed Jun 11, 2014 18:00:34PM | Categories: Tax Brackets, Federal Income Tax & Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Internal Revenue Service HeadquartersBy: Joshua Doubek
If there is anything nearly every American can agree on, it is that the way the American government collects taxes is frustrating, confusing, and downright crazy. The system has become so complicated that a layman would have to spend hours, if not days, shifting through all of the different rules and regulations if they want to ensure their yearly return is done properly. For all the individuals who do not file the '1040 EZ' form, tax season can be a cause for stress and frustration until your returns are submitted. Fortunately, there are rather simple ways to know exactly what you will owe so Uncle Sam won't come knocking on your door wondering where your tax dollars are.

The Federal Income Tax is broken into certain brackets that, in theory, rise as you earn more money. Those who make the least amount of money pay the least amount of Federal Taxes and those who make the more are responsible for paying higher amounts. While we all know that isn't how it always winds up due to the vast array of deductions and tax-free investments the wealthy can make, the tax code is supposed to ensure those making the least pay the least.

Let's take a look at the seven different Federal Income Tax brackets and break down the percentage you owe based off of what bracket you are in. There are multiple tables

Single Filing Status:
10% on taxable income from $0 to $9,075 (plus)
15% on taxable income over $9,075 to $36,900 (plus)
25% on taxable income over $36,900 to $89,350 (plus)
28% on taxable income over $89,350 to $186,350 (plus)
33% on taxable income over $186,350 to $405,100 (plus)
35% on taxable income over $405,100 to $406,750 (plus)
39.6% on taxable income over $406,750

Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er) Filing Status:
10% on taxable income from $0 to $18,150 (plus)
15% on taxable income over $18,150 to $73,800 (plus)
25% on taxable income over $73,800 to $148,850 (plus)
28% on taxable income over $148,850 to $226,850 (plus)
33% on taxable income over $226,850 to $405,100 (plus)
35% on taxable income over $405,100 to $457,600 (plus)
39.6% on taxable income over $457,600

Married Filing Separately Filing Status:
10% on taxable income from $0 to $9,075 (plus)
15% on taxable income over $9,075 to $36,900 (plus)
25% on taxable income over $36,900 to $74,425 (plus)
28% on taxable income over $74,425 to $113,425 (plus)
33% on taxable income over $113,425 to $202,550 (plus)
35% on taxable income over $202,550 to $228,800 (plus)
39.6% on taxable income over $228,800

Head of Household Filing Status:
10% on taxable income from $0 to $12,950 (plus)
15% on taxable income over $12,950 to $49,400 (plus)
25% on taxable income over $49,400 to $127,550 (plus)
28% on taxable income over $127,550 to $206,600 (plus)
33% on taxable income over $206,600 to $405,100 (plus)
35% on taxable income over $405,100 to $432,200 (plus)
39.6% on taxable income over $432,200

What does all of this mean?
You won't be the first person to say that none of this makes any sense at all, but it's actually quite simple if you take a few minutes to break it down and sift through the numbers. For starters, you will only fall into one of these four categories. Once you figure out what category you are in, it is as easy as breaking down the numbers and determining where you fall.

It is also important to know that this is the percentage you will pay outside of your Social Security Tax, and before you claim any deductions or tax credits. The Social Security Tax is a separate tax that goes towards the Social Security trust fund and is only taxed on individuals first $117,000 of income.
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