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2020-2021 Federal Income-Tax Rates and Brackets

In brief 
  • There are seven federal income-tax brackets with tax rates of 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%. 
  • Your tax rate is based on your taxable income, after benefits such as the standard deduction are applied, and your filing status such as single or married, filing jointly. 
  • The income-tax brackets are adjusted annually for inflation. 

The individual tax code has seven income-tax brackets that currently range from 10% to 37%. The 10% rate takes effect at the first dollar of taxable income, after benefits such as the standard deduction are applied. 

Each rate applies to the income in that bracket. For example, if Robin, a single filer, has a taxable income of $60,000, the first $9,875 would be taxed at 10% ($987.50 in tax owed), the next $30,250 would be taxed at 12% ($3,630 in tax owed), and the remaining $19,875 would be taxed at 22% ($4,372.50 in tax owed), for a total of $8,990 owed.

Key inflation-adjusted tax numbers for individual income, 2020

Up to $9,875

$9,876–$40,125

$40,126–$85,525

$85,526–$163,300

$163,301–$207,350

$207,351–$518,400

$518,401 +

Up to $19,750

$19,751–$80,250

$80,251–$171,050

$171,051–$326,600

$326,601–$414,700

$414,701–$622,050

$622,051 +

Key inflation-adjusted tax numbers for individual income, 2020

Up to $9,875

$9,876–$40,125

$40,126–$85,525

$85,526–$163,300

$163,301–$207,350

$207,351–$518,400

$518,401 +

Up to $19,750

$19,751–$80,250

$80,251–$171,050

$171,051–$326,600

$326,601–$414,700

$414,701–$622,050

$622,051 +

Key inflation-adjusted tax numbers for individual income, 2020

Up to $9,875

$9,876–$40,125

$40,126–$85,525

$85,526–$163,300

$163,301–$207,350

$207,351–$518,400

$518,401 +

Up to $19,750

$19,751–$80,250

$80,251–$171,050

$171,051–$326,600

$326,601–$414,700

$414,701–$622,050

$622,051 +

Key inflation-adjusted tax numbers

for individual income, 2020

Up to $9,875

$9,876–$40,125

$40,126–$85,525

$85,526–$163,300

$163,301–$207,350

$207,351–$518,400

$518,401 +

Up to $19,750

$19,751–$80,250

$80,251–$171,050

$171,051–$326,600

$326,601–$414,700

$414,701–$622,050

$622,051 +

Key inflation-adjusted tax numbers for individual income, 2021

Up to $9,950

$9,951–$40,525

$40,526–$86,375

$86,376–$164,925

$164,926–$209,425

$209,426–$523,600

$523,601 +

Up to $19,900

$19,901–$81,050

$81,051–$172,750

$172,751–$329,850

$329,851–$418,850

$418,851–$628,300

$628,301 +

Key inflation-adjusted tax numbers for individual income, 2021

Up to $9,950

$9,951–$40,525

$40,526–$86,375

$86,376–$164,925

$164,926–$209,425

$209,426–$523,600

$523,601 +

Up to $19,900

$19,901–$81,050

$81,051–$172,750

$172,751–$329,850

$329,851–$418,850

$418,851–$628,300

$628,301 +

Key inflation-adjusted tax numbers for individual income, 2021

Up to $9,950

$9,951–$40,525

$40,526–$86,375

$86,376–$164,925

$164,926–$209,425

$209,426–$523,600

$523,601 +

Up to $19,900

$19,901–$81,050

$81,051–$172,750

$172,751–$329,850

$329,851–$418,850

$418,851–$628,300

$628,301 +

Key inflation-adjusted tax numbers

for individual income, 2021

Up to $9,950

$9,951–$40,525

$40,526–$86,375

$86,376–$164,925

$164,926–$209,425

$209,426–$523,600

$523,601 +

Up to $19,900

$19,901–$81,050

$81,051–$172,750

$172,751–$329,850

$329,851–$418,850

$418,851–$628,300

$628,301 +

The current rates and brackets are determined by the 2017 tax overhaul, and they expire at the end of 2025. For 2026, the top rate is set to return to 39.6%, though Congress may adjust rates before then.

The income-tax brackets are adjusted annually for inflation, although in 2017 Congress switched to a less generous method for calculating inflation adjustments to tax brackets and some other key provisions. This shift will cost Americans $133.5 billion over a decade, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. 

While many thresholds in the tax code are adjusted for inflation, there are important exceptions. Among those that aren’t adjusted are some benefits for homeowners, thresholds for taxes on Social Security benefits, and certain taxes on investment income. As a result, millions of Americans are paying more to Uncle Sam than they would if these thresholds were adjusted for inflation.

This year’s tax deadline for individuals is May 17. Interested in knowing more before you file your taxes? Register for free to download your complimentary copy of the WSJ Tax Guide 2021. 

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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