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What Tax Bracket Am I In?

By Kelly Boyer Sagert · January 23, 2023 · 8 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

What Tax Bracket Am I In?

There are seven federal tax brackets for 2021, ranging from 10% to 37%. Generally, the more you earn, the higher your tax rate, and the more money you will owe the IRS in taxes.

How much you’ll pay in federal tax on your 2021 income (due in 2022) will depend on which bracket your income falls in, as well as your tax-filing status–which is whether you’re single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or a head of household.

When people look at tax charts, however, they often assume that having an income in a particular tax bracket (such as 12% or 22%) means that all of your income is taxed at that rate.

Many people wonder (and worry) about what tax bracket they are in and how much they might owe in taxes. There are seven federal tax brackets for 2022, ranging from 10% to 37%. In general, you’ll find that the more you earn, the higher your tax rate will be, and the more money you will owe the IRS in taxes.

How much you’ll pay in federal tax on your 2022 income (which means the tax return you’ll file by April 18, 2023) will depend on which bracket your income falls in, as well as your tax-filing status. That means whether you’re single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or a head of household. Other factors, like deductions, matter as well.

When people look at tax charts, however, they often assume that having an income in a particular tax bracket (such as 12% or 22%) means that all of your income is taxed at that exact rate.

Actually, tax brackets are “marginal.” This term means that only the part of your income within each range (or “bracket”) is taxed at the corresponding tax rate.

Read on to learn more about this at times complicated topic, including answers to these questions:

•   Which tax bracket am I in?

•   How can I use the 2022 tax chart to figure out how much I will owe?

•   What are some tips to lower my tax bracket?

What Are Tax Brackets?

A tax bracket determines the range of incomes upon which a certain income tax rate is applied. America’s federal government uses a progressive tax system: Filers with lower incomes pay lower tax rates, and those with higher incomes pay higher tax rates.

There are currently seven tax brackets in the U.S. which range from 10% to 37%, as briefly noted above. However, not all of your income will necessarily be taxed at a single rate. Even if you know the answer to “What is my federal tax bracket?” you are likely to pay multiple rates. Read on to learn more about how exactly this works.

How Do Tax Brackets Work?

Whether you’re filing taxes for the first time or have been doing so for decades, you may wonder how you know what tax bracket you’re in.

While there are seven basic tax brackets, your income doesn’t necessarily get grouped into one level in which you pay that rate on all of your income. This only happens if your total income is in the lowest possible tax bracket.

Otherwise, the tax system is also graduated in such a way so that taxpayers don’t pay the same rate on every dollar earned. Instead, you pay higher rates on each dollar that exceeds a certain threshold.

For example, if your taxable income is $50,000 for 2022, not all of it is taxed at the 22% rate that includes incomes from $41,776 to $89,075 for single filers. Some of your income will be taxed at the lower tax brackets, 10% and 12%. Below, you’ll find a specific example of how this works.

In addition to knowing which tax bracket you’re in, it’s important to be aware of standard deductions that are applied when calculating taxes. (This is separate from common payroll deductions, such as health insurance.) The standard deduction will lower your taxes owed.

For income earned in 2022, the standard deduction is $12,950 for unmarried people and for those who are married, filing separately; $25,900 for those married, filing jointly; $19,400 for heads of household. (There may be tax benefits to marriage beyond your bracket, by the way.)

There are additional deductions that may lower your taxable income, too, such as earmarking certain funds for retirement.

In addition to federal taxes, filers may also need to pay state income tax. The rate you will pay for state tax will depend on the state you live in. Some states also have brackets and a progressive rate. You may also need to pay local/city taxes.

Example of Tax Brackets

According to the 2022 tax brackets (the ones you’ll use when you file in 2023), an unmarried person earning $50,000 would pay:

10% on the first $10,275, or $1,027.50

12% on the next $31,499 ($41,775 – $10,276 = $31,499), or $3,779.88

22% on the next $8,225 ($50,000 – $41,775 = $8,225), or $1,809.50

Total federal tax due would be $1,027.50 + $3,779.88 + $1,809.50, or $6,616.88

This doesn’t take into account any deductions. Many Americans take the standard deduction (rather than itemize their deductions).

2022 Tax Brackets

Below are the tax rates for the 2023 filing season. Dollar amounts represent taxable income earned in 2022. Your taxable income is what you get when you take all of the money you’ve earned and subtract all of the tax deductions you’re eligible for.

Not sure of your filing status? This interactive IRS quiz can help you determine the correct status. If you qualify for more than one, it tells you which one will result in the lowest tax bill.

2022 Tax Brackets For Unmarried People

Tax rate of:

•   10% for people earning $0 to $10,275

•   12% for people earning $10,276 to $41,775

•   22% for people earning $41,776 to $89,075

•   24% for people earning $89,076 to $170,050

•   32% for people earning $170,051 to $215,950

•   35% for people earning $215,951 to $539,900

•   37% for people earning $539,901 or more

2022 Tax Brackets For Married People Who Are Filing Jointly

Tax rate of:

•   10% for people earning $0 to $20,550

•   12% for people earning $20,551 to $83,550

•   22% for people earning $83,551 to $178,150

•   24% for people earning $178,151 to $340,100

•   32% for people earning $340,101 to $431,900

•   35% for people earning $431,901 to $647,850

•   37% for people earning $647,851 or more

2022 Tax Brackets For Married People Who Are Filing Separately

Tax rate of:

•   10% for people earning $0 to $10,275

•   12% for people earning $10,276 to $41,775

•   22% for people earning $41,776 to $89,075

•   24% for people earning $89,076 to $170,050

•   32% for people earning $170,051 to $215,950

•   35% for people earning $215,951 to $323,925

•   37% for people earning $323,926 or more

2022 Tax Brackets For Heads of Household

Tax rate of:

•   10% for people earning $0 to $14,650

•   12% for people earning $14,651 to $55,900

•   22% for people earning $55,901 to $89,050

•   24% for people earning $89,051 to $170,050

•   32% for people earning $170,051 to $215,950

•   35% for people earning $215,951 to $539,900

•   37% for people earning $539,901 or more

Recommended: How Income Tax Withholding Works

Lowering Your 2022 Tax Bracket

You may be able to lower your income into another bracket (especially if your taxable income falls right on the cut-off points between two brackets) by taking tax deductions.

Tax deductions lower how much of your income is subject to taxes. Generally, deductions lower your taxable income by the percentage of your highest federal income tax bracket. So if you fall into the 22% tax bracket, a $1,000 deduction would save you $220.

Tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit, or child tax credit, can also reduce how you pay Uncle Sam but not by putting you in a lower tax bracket.

Tax credits reduce the amount of tax you owe, giving you a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax liability. A tax credit valued at $1,000, for instance, lowers your total tax bill by $1,000.

Many people choose to take the standard deduction, but a tax expert can help you figure out if you’d be better off itemizing deductions, such as your mortgage interest, medical expenses, and state and local taxes.

Whether you take the standard deduction or itemize, here are some additional ways you may be able to lower your tax bracket as you think ahead and prepare for tax season:

•   Delaying income. For example, if you freelance, you might consider waiting to bill for services performed near the end of the 2022 until early in 2023.

•   Making contributions to certain tax-advantaged accounts, such as health savings accounts and retirement funds, keeping in mind that there are annual contribution limits.

•   Deducting some of your student loan interest. Depending on your income, you may be able to deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest paid in 2022.

It can be a good idea to work with a CPA (certified public accountant) or tax advisor to see if you qualify for these and other ways to lower your tax bracket.

Recommended: Your Tax Preparation Checklist

The Takeaway

The government decides how much tax you owe by dividing your taxable income into seven chunks, also known as federal tax brackets, and each chunk gets taxed at the corresponding tax rate, from 10% to 37%.

The benefit of a progressive tax system is that no matter which bracket you’re in, you won’t pay that tax rate on your entire income.

Depending on your financial situation, you can use both tax deductions and credits to lower the amount you pay Uncle Sam each year. Knowing your tax bracket can help you get an idea of how much you will owe on your 2022 income.

If you think you might get hit with a sizable tax bill, you may want to look into changing your paycheck withholdings or, if you’re a freelancer, making quarterly estimated tax payments.

You may also want to start putting some “tax money” aside each month, so you won’t have to scramble to pay any taxes owed when you file in April.

3 Money Tips

1.    Direct deposit is the fastest way to get an IRS tax refund. More than 9 out of 10 refunds are issued in less than 21 days using this free service, plus you can track the payment and even split the funds into different bank accounts.

2.    When you overdraft your checking account, you’ll likely pay a non-sufficient fund fee of, say, $35. Look into linking a savings account to your checking account as a backup to avoid that, or shop around for a bank that doesn’t charge you for overdrafting.

3.    If you’re faced with debt and wondering which kind to pay off first, it can be smart to prioritize high-interest debt first. For many people, this means their credit card debt; rates have recently been climbing into the double-digit range, so try to eliminate that ASAP.

Better banking is here with up to 3.75% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Has anything changed from 2021 to 2022 tax brackets?

Yes, the IRS has adjusted tax brackets for tax year 2022 to reflect the impact of inflation and other factors. You can learn more above or here.

What is a marginal tax rate?

The marginal tax rate refers to the highest tax bracket that you possibly fall into. However, your effective tax rate averages the taxes you owe on all of your income earned. For this reason, your effective tax rate will likely be lower than your marginal rate.

How do deductions affect your tax bracket?

Deductions lower your taxable income. The more deductions that are taken, the more of your earnings are taxed at reduced brackets.


Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.
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