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How Many Tax Brackets Are There?

by Lucy Lazarony

How Many Tax Brackets Are There

How Tax Brackets Work

How much you pay in federal income taxes depends on how much you make, whether you are married or single and whether you are head of household.

There are seven major tax brackets – 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% 35% and 39.6% — and there are separate sets of brackets for single tax filers, married tax filers who file jointly, married tax filers who file separately and tax filers who are single and file as head of household.

You will find tax brackets for 2014 and 2015 below.

Let’s say you are single and had $30,000 of taxable income in 2014, after your deductions.

For the first $9,075, you are in the 10% tax bracket and would pay $907.50, a 10% tax on this portion of your taxable income.

For the remainder of your taxable income, $20,925, you would fall into the 15% tax bracket ($9,076 to $36,900)
 and you would pay $3,138.75, a 15% tax on this portion of your taxable income.

This holds true for the other tax brackets as well. So you only pay the higher tax rates on the portion of your income that falls into that particular tax bracket. And you pay the lower rates associated with the lower tax brackets for those sections of your taxable income.

Am I the Head of Household?

To file as head of household, you must meet certain requirements.

  • You must be single on the last day of 2014
  • You have to have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for a year.
  • A qualifying person, such as a child, stepchild or foster child, has lived with you in your home for more than half a year.

If you are divorced by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and if you had a child live with you for more than half a year, you may be able to file your taxes as head of household.

If you do, your tax rate will usually be lower than the tax rate for a single filer or if you are married and filing separately.

I’m Married. Should We File Jointly?

When you file a joint tax return with your spouse, you report your combined income, deductions and exemptions. Both you and your spouse are held responsible for the payment of the taxes that you owe.

So with a joint return, if your spouse fails to pay his or her share of the taxes due, you may be required to.

If you don’t wish to be held responsible for any taxes due if a spouse fails to pay, you may wish to file your taxes separately. For tax year 2014, there are seven major tax brackets –10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% and 39.6% — and how much you pay in taxes depends on your income and whether you are single, married or the head of your own household.

Which Tax Bracket Are You In?

For single filers, the 2014 tax brackets are:

  • 10% – up to $9,075
  • 15% – $9,075 to $36,900
  • 25% – $36,901 to $89,350
  • 28% – $89,351 to $186,350
  • 33% – $186,351 to $405,100
  • 35% – $405,101 to $406,750
  • 39.6% – more than $406,751

For married couples who file their taxes jointly, the 2014 tax brackets are:

  • 10% – up to $18,150
  • 15% – $18,151 to $73,800
  • 25% – $73,801 to $148,850
  • 28% – $148,851 to $226,850
  • 33% – $226,851 to $405,100
  • 35% – $405,101 to $457,600
  • 39.6% – more than $457,601

For married couples who choose to file their taxes separately, the 2014 tax brackets are:

  • 10% – up to $9,075
  • 15% – $9,076 to $36,900
  • 25% – $36,901 to $74,425
  • 28% – $74,426 to $113,425
  • 33% – $113,426 to $202,550
  • 35% – $202,551 to $228,800
  • 39.6% – more than $228,801

If you were single and the head of your household at the end of the year, your 2014 tax brackets are:

  • 10% – up to $12,950
  • 15% – $12,951 to $49,400
  • 25% – $49,401 to $127,550
  • 28% – $127,551 to $206,600
  • 33% – $206,601 to $405,100
  • 35% – $405,101 to $432,200
  • 39.6% – more than $432,201

The Tax Year 2015 Brackets

For single filers, the 2015 tax brackets are:

  • 10% – up to $9,2255
  • 15% – $9,226 to $37,450

  • 25% – $37,451 to $90,750
  • 28% – $90,751 to $189,300
  • 33% – $189,301 to $411,500

  • 35% – $411,501 to $413,200
  • 39.6% – more than $413,201

For married couples who file their taxes jointly, the 2015 tax brackets are:

  • 10% – up to $18,450
  • 15% – $18,451 to $74,900
  • 25% – $74,901 to $151,200
  • 28% – $151,201 to $230,450
  • 33% – $230,451 to $411,500
  • 35% – $411,501 to $464,850
  • 39.6% – more than $464,851

For married couples who choose to file their taxes separately, the 2015 tax brackets are:

  • 10% – up to $9,225
  • 15% – $9,226 to $37,450
  • 25% – $37,451 to $75,600
  • 28% – $75,601 to $115,225
  • 33% – $115,226 to $205,750
  • 35% – $205,751 to $232,425
  • 39.6% – more than $232,426

If you were single and the head of your household at the end of the year, your 2015 tax brackets are:

  • 10% – up to $13,150

  • 15% – $13,151 to $50,200
  • 25% – $50,201 to $129,600
  • 28% – $129,601 to $209,850
  • 33% – $209,851 to $411,500
  • 35% – $411,501 to $439,000
  • 39.6% – more than $439,001


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