Taxable Income Thresholds

You may be subject to the following seven federal income tax brackets for your 2022 taxes (which must be submitted in 2023): 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, and 35%. According to your income and filing status, you will fall into one of these categories, with higher earners having to pay more.

The U.S. federal tax brackets remain unchanged for 2022 and 2023, but the income thresholds that inform those tax brackets are generally increased for inflation each year. As you may anticipate, the record-breaking inflation rate in 2022 resulted in major adjustments to the tax brackets for 2023.

How Tax Brackets Work?

Those with greater taxable incomes pay higher federal income tax rates in the United States, which has a progressive tax structure.

Being "in" a tax bracket does not imply that you pay that federal income tax rate on all of your earnings. Those with greater taxable earnings pay higher federal income tax rates, while those with lower taxable incomes pay lower federal income tax rates under the progressive tax system.

The government determines how much tax you owe by splitting your taxable income into chunks, often known as tax brackets, and taxing each chunk at the appropriate tax rate. The beauty of this is that regardless of your tax bracket, you will not pay that tax rate on your full income.

Annually, the income thresholds for tax brackets are adjusted. Many sections of the tax code, notably the income criteria that determine federal tax brackets, are modified periodically to account for inflation. This indexing is intended to keep taxpayers from experiencing "bracket creep," or being forced into a higher tax rate due to inflation.

What Is A Marginal Tax Rate?

The "marginal tax rate" is the tax rate paid on your final dollar of taxable income. This is usually your highest tax bracket.

If you're a single filer with $35,000 in taxable income, you'd be in the 12% tax rate. If your taxable income increased by $1, you would have to pay 12% on that additional dollar as well.

But, if you had $46,000 in taxable income, the majority of it would still be in the 12% tax band, but the last few hundred dollars would be in the 22% tax bracket. Then your marginal tax rate would be 22%.

Pros Of Tax Brackets

  • Tax brackets, and the progressive tax system they generate, contrast with a flat tax structure, in which all individuals, regardless of income level, are taxed at the same rate.
  • Those with higher incomes are better able to pay income taxes while maintaining a comfortable level of living.
  • Those with little income pay less, providing them with more money to maintain themselves.
  • Tax deductions and credits provide tax relief to high-income persons while rewarding beneficial behavior such as charitable giving.

Cons Of Tax Brackets

  • Wealthy people eventually wind up paying an excessive amount of taxes.
  • Brackets cause the wealthy to concentrate on finding tax loopholes, resulting in many people underpaying their taxes and depriving the government of money.
  • Progressive taxation decreases individual savings.

Conclusion

  • In the United States, there are now seven federal tax bands, with rates ranging from 10% to 37%.
  • The American tax system is progressive, meaning that those in lower brackets pay less in taxes while those in higher brackets pay more.
  • Unless all of your income falls completely within the lowest tax bracket, you are subject to different rates depending on the additional tax categories into which your income flows.
  • Because you are not merely taxed at the rate your entire income falls within, your effective tax rate is lower than that bracket's.
  • Each year, the IRS regularly adjusts the tax brackets to take inflation into account.
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