What Is A Tax Bracket?


A tax bracket is a range of incomes subject to a certain income tax rate. Tax brackets result in a progressive tax system, in which taxation increases as an individual's income grows: Low incomes fall into tax brackets with relatively low income tax rates, while higher earnings fall into brackets with higher rates.


Until 2018, there have been seven federal tax brackets, each assigned a different rate, ranging from 10% to 39.6%, with the dollar ranges in each varying for single filer, married joint filers (and qualifying widow(ers), married filing separately filers and head of household filers, resulting in 28 effective tax brackets.

Beginning in 2018, the federal tax brackets will be updated. There will still be seven brackets, but the new tax rates will range from 10% to 37%. There are two exceptions – the lowest tax bracket and the second-highest – individual tax rates will decrease across the board. The income ranges covered by certain brackets will also shift, potentially meaning many Americans will pay lower taxes in 2018 and some will pay more. 


For 2018, there are seven IRS tax brackets. Here's how they look as of this writing:


2018 tax brackets and income ranges for single taxpayers

  • 10%: $0 to $9,525 of taxable income

  • 12%: $9,526 to $38,700

  • 22%: $38,701 to $82,500

  • 24%: $82,501 to $157,500

  • 32%: $157,501 to $200,000

  • 35%: $200,001 to $500,000

  • 37%: over $500,000

  • Standard deduction: $12,000

2018 tax brackets and income ranges for married taxpayers filing jointly and surviving spouses

  • 10%: $0 to $19,050 of taxable income

  • 12%: $19,051 to $77,400

  • 22%: $77,401 to $165,000

  • 24%: $165,001 to $315,000

  • 32%: $315,001 to $400,000

  • 35%: $400,001 to $600,000

  • 37%: over $600,000

  • Standard deduction: $24,000

2018 tax brackets and income ranges for taxpayers filing as head of household

  • 10%: $0 to $13,600 of taxable income

  • 12%: $13,601 to $51,800

  • 22%: $51,801 to $82,500

  • 24%: $82,501 to $157,500

  • 32%: $157,501 to $200,000

  • 35%: $200,001 to $500,000

  • 37%: over $500,000

  • Standard deduction: $18,000

2018 tax brackets and income ranges for married taxpayers filing separately

  • 10%: $0 to $9,525 of taxable income

  • 12%: $9,526 to $38,700

  • 22%: $38,701 to $82,500

  • 24%: $82,501 to $157,500

  • 32%: $157,501 to $200,000

  • 35%: $200,001 to $300,000

  • 37%: over $300,000

  • Standard deduction: $12,000

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