How to Calculate Your Federal Income Tax Bracket in the USA

Ever found yourself asking “what is my tax bracket?” or scratching your head over how to calculate federal income tax in the good old United States? We hear you!

Maybe you have never been taught how to calculate effective tax rate. Perhaps the ins and outs of tax bracket calculation seem too hard for you.

No worries, in this article we will discuss all of these aspects of taxpaying in the USA. In addition, we will shed some light on married filing jointly tax brackets in 2023.

What are tax brackets & what are the different tax brackets in 2023?

The IRS groups individuals in the USA into various categories on the basis of their income. These groups are called tax brackets. Different brackets, different tax rates.

To work out your tax rate, you need to investigate the federal income tax table. That’s your map. This table, made by the IRS, outlines different income ranges – those are your tax brackets.

To calculate your tax, first, you find out which bracket your income fits into. It’s like picking the right route on your map. Each bracket has a different rate, and that’s the percentage of your income you’ll owe as tax.

Now that you know what is a tax table, let’s learn how to use tax table-based tax calculation for various brackets. After that, we will learn answer the question “How are federal taxes” calculated.

2023 Tax Table: Single Filers

Taxable IncomeTax Due
$0 – $11,00010% of taxable income
$11,001 – $44,725$1,100 + 12% of the amount over $11,000
$44,726 – $95,375$5,147 + 22% of the amount over $44,725
$95,376 – $182,100$16,290 + 24% of the amount over $95,375
$182,101 – $231,250$37,104 + 32% of the amount over $182,100
$231,251 – $578,125$52,832 + 35% of the amount over $231,250
$578,126 or more$174,238.25 + 37% of the amount over $578,125

2023 Tax Table: Married Filing Jointly Tax Brackets

Taxable IncomeTax Due
$0 – $22,00010% of taxable income
$22,001 – $89,450$2,200 + 12% of the amount over $22,000
$89,451 – $190,750$13,814 + 22% of the amount over $89,450
$190,751 – $364,200$37,451 + 24% of the amount over $190,750
$364,201 – $578,125$74,897 + 32% of the amount over $364,200
$578,126 or more$174,238.25 + 37% of the amount over $578,125

2023 Tax Table: Married Filing Separately

Taxable IncomeTax Due
$0 – $11,00010% of taxable income
$11,001 – $44,725$1,100 + 12% of the amount over $11,000
$44,726 – $95,375$5,147 + 22% of the amount over $44,725
$95,376 – $182,100$18,552 + 24% of the amount over $95,375
$182,101 – $231,250$37,104 + 32% of the amount over $182,100
$231,251 – $578,125$52,832 + 35% of the amount over $231,250
$578,126 or more$87,119.13 + 37% of the amount over $578,125

2023 Tax Table: Head of Household

Taxable IncomeTax Due
$0 – $15,70010% of taxable income
$15,701 – $59,850$1,570 + 12% of the amount over $15,700
$59,851 – $139,725$8,747 + 22% of the amount over $59,850
$139,726 – $289,063$25,794 + 24% of the amount over $139,725
$289,064 or more$52,832 + 35% of the amount over $289,063

How Do Tax Brackets Work

Tax brackets are a fundamental part of income taxation, explaining how tax rates apply differently depending on your income level.

How to Find Out What Tax Bracket You Are In:

To identify which tax bracket you belong to, consider your income and filing status, such as single or married, as different brackets exist for each status.

Tax Brackets Single Vs Married:

Tax brackets single vs married can vary significantly, influencing tax liabilities. The essence of tax brackets is progressive taxation; as your income increases, so does your tax rate.

What Do Tax Brackets Mean:

Essentially, they represent different ranges of income taxed at varying rates. By comprehending how tax brackets actually work, you gain a clearer perspective on your tax obligations.

What is my tax bracket: tax bracket calculation

Discerning your tax bracket involves evaluating your income and your filing status. Refer to the IRS tax bracket chart or use online tax calculators to determine “what tax bracket am I in?” This knowledge will help manage your tax obligations strategically.

Tax BracketIncome RangeTax Rate
10%$0 to $11,00010%
12%$11,001 to $44,72512%
22%$44,726 to $95,37522%
24%$95,376 to $182,10024%
32%$182,101 to $231,25032%
35%$231,251 to $578,12535%
37%$578,126 or more37%

Tax Bracket Example: Taxes on USD 75000 income

Let’s figure out how much income is taxable for you this year. We need you to think “If I made $75,000 how much federal taxes do I owe the government?”

Suppose you are single and have earned $75,000 in a year- you will have to pay $12,116.78 in taxes. This isn’t random; it’s a meticulously calculated result of the tax system. The first $11,000 of your income is lightly brushed with a 10% tax. The next $33,725, a larger chunk of your income, is taxed at 12%. The remaining $30,275 doesn’t escape either and is taxed at a steeper 22%.

However, this narrative takes a twist if you’re sharing life’s journey with your significant other and filing taxes jointly. While your taxable income remains the same at $75,000, the tax story unfolds differently. The tax you owe rises to $14,325.50. That’s because the first $22,000 of your combined income is taxed at 10%, and the next sum up to $89,450 gets taxed at 12%. Despite this, a remaining sizable amount of $53,550 is left to be taxed at 22%.

But if you decide to go down the route of married filing separately, you’ll each be considering a taxable income of $37,500, half of your combined earning. The result is a lower tax due at $7,162.75 per person. This means that $11,000 of your income being taxed at 10%, the next $44,725 at 12%, and a small remainder of $2,775 at the 22% rate.

Lastly, let’s imagine you’re the head of your household. Shouldering responsibilities, your $75,000 taxable income have a tax bill of $13,559.25. The first $15,700 will be taxed at 10%, the next substantial $59,850 portion at 12%, and the remaining minor $3,455 subjected to a 22% tax.

Bear in mind, this tax odyssey is an illustrative one, drawn from estimates. Your actual tax journey might vary, traversing different paths based on your unique circumstances.

How to Calculate Federal Income Tax

So, you’re chilling on your couch, starting to sweat over this question, “How much is Uncle Sam going to take from me for this year’s income tax?” Well, fret not.

First, we’ve got these things called Tax Tables. Imagine them as a menu at your local burger joint. You see your income laid out like the name of a burger, and right beside it, there’s the price — but here, it’s the tax you owe. Pretty straightforward, huh?

The only two things you need are your total earnings for the year and your filing status — like, are you flying solo (single), teamed up (married), etc. You can snag this ‘menu’ right off the IRS website or from that tax return packet they send you, also known as Form 1040.

But say you’re more of a hands-on person, someone who enjoys diving into the details. Well, the Tax Formula might be your cup of tea. Imagine this like baking your favorite cake from scratch. Even though it is more time-consuming, it gives you a more precise figure:

Your tax = (Your total income – everything you can subtract) * your tax rate.

Everything you can subtract includes a set amount that everyone can deduct, special expenses you had (like medical bills or donations to charities), and an amount you can subtract for each person in your family (you, your kids, etc.). The tax rate is the last bit.

So, the million-dollar question — which method should you pick? If you like it quick and simple, the Tax Tables are your friend — just like ordering a burger off the menu. But if you want to be certain it’s accurate to the last cent, time to dust off your apron and try the Tax Formula — your homemade tax cake recipe. And remember, if you’re ever in doubt, you can always reach out to a tax expert for some guidance. They’re the master chefs in this tax kitchen, after all.

How to calculate effective tax rate

So, how to calculate income is taxable? Easy-peasy. Just take all the money you made this year and subtract stuff like deductions and exemptions. Deductions are like discount coupons – things you’ve spent money on that can reduce your taxable income. Exemptions? They’re the people you’re supporting, like kids or elderly parents.

Now, to the slice the government takes – your tax rate. The marginal tax rate is like the recipe for your most expensive pie slice – the tax you pay on the highest part of your income. But the effective tax rate? That’s the average size of all the slices, or the average tax you pay on every dollar you earn. We hope you can now answer “what is my taxable income” if the question ever pops up in your head.

What’s my marginal tax rate?

Your marginal tax rate is like a speed limit – it’s the maximum tax rate you’re hitting on your last dollar earned. To find yours, check the IRS tax tables using your taxable income. If it shows 22% for a $50,000 income, that means every buck earned over $50,000 is taxed at 22%.

How to lower tax bracket and get lower tax?

Want to lower your tax bill? You can:

Increase deductions and exemptions to shrink your taxable income.

Stash money in retirement plans, like a 401(k) or IRA, to cut your taxable income.

Use tax credits, which directly slash your tax bill.

Consider a different filing status to change your tax bracket.

There you go! Congrats on decoding all you need to know about tax calculation! We hope now you know how to find out what tax bracket you are in. If not, you can always revisit this guide on how to determine tax bracket!


Are tax brackets based on AGI?

Sure thing, they are! Think of your AGI, or Adjusted Gross Income, as your ticket into the world of tax brackets. It’s kind of like the backstage pass to your tax show.

Are tax brackets based on adjusted gross income?

Indeed, they are! Your adjusted gross income basically acts as the steering wheel, driving you into the highway of tax brackets. The more you earn, the faster you accelerate towards the higher brackets.

What is the 12% tax bracket?

Oh, the 12% tax bracket? It’s like the second rung on the tax ladder. If you’re a solo filer making anything from $11,001 to $44,725 in 2023, you’re hanging out in this rung.

What is the 24% tax bracket?

Ah, the 24% bracket, a bit steep, right? If you’re on your own and making between $95,376 and $182,100 in 2023, you’re in this upper bracket. No small feat, that!

How much of my pay check should go to taxes in America?

Well, it isn’t a fixed answer since it swings based on a couple of things like your earnings, where you live, and your tax bracket. But as a ballpark, around 20% to 30% of your pay check might say goodbye for tax reasons. Welcome to the big leagues!