Federal Income Tax Brackets

Tax Rates for the Tax Years 2019 and 2020 by Filing Status

Close up of a man holding form 1040 at his computer, ready to file federal income taxes.
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The U.S. imposes a tax on income using progressive rates, so a person's tax liabilities gradually increases as their income increases. There are seven marginal tax brackets: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%. These rates are imposed by Congress and found in section one of the Internal Revenue Code. The income that these rates apply to adjusts every year and the IRS updates the official tax rates to take into account inflation.

Marginal tax brackets refer to the tax imposed on the next dollar earned, which is a useful concept for tax planning because it enables people to analyze the tax impact of additional income or deductions. The marginal tax bracket is the highest tax rate imposed on your income. Ordinary income tax rates apply to most kinds of income, and they are distinguished from the capital gains tax rate imposed on long-term gains and qualified dividends.

The tax rates are displayed by year and filing status below:

Tax Tables for Tax Year 2019 (Filed in 2020)

                                       2019 TAX YEAR – SINGLE
Income Range Income Tax Rate Long-Term Capital Gains Rate
$0 to $9,700 10% 0%
$9,701 to $39,475 12% 0%
$39,476 to $84,200 22% 15% at $39,376
$84,201 to $160,725 24% 15%
$160,726 to $204,100 32% 15%
$204,101 to $510,300 35% 15%; 20% at $434,55
$510,301+ 37% 20%
                2019 TAX YEAR – MARRIED, FILING JOINTLY
Income Range Income Tax Rate Long-Term Capital Gains Rate
$0 to $19,400 10% 0%
$19,401 to $78,950 12% 15% at $78,751
$78,951 to $168,400 22% 15%
$168,401 to $321,450 24% 15%
$321,451 to $408,200 32% 15%
$408,201 to $612,350 35% 15%; 20% at $488,851
$612,351+ 37% 20%
             2019 TAX YEAR – MARRIED, FILING SEPARATELY
Income Range Income Tax Rate Long-Term Capital Gains Rate
$0 to $9,700 10% 0%
$9,701 to $39,475 12% 0%
$39,476 to $84,200 22% 15% at $39,376
$84,201 to $160,725 24% 15%
$160,726 to $204,100 32% 15%
$204,101 to $306,175 35% 15%; 20% at $244,426
$306,176+ 37% 20%
                 2019 TAX YEAR  – HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
Income Range Income Tax Rate Long-Term Capital Gains Rate
$0 to $13,850 10% 0%
$13,851 to $52,850 12% 0%
$52,851 to $84,200 22% 15% at $52,751
$84,201 to $160,700 24% 15%
$160,701 to $204,100 32% 15%
$204,101 to $510,300 35% 15%; 20% at $461,701
$510,301+ 37% 20%

Tax Tables for Tax Year 2020 (Filed in 2021)

                             2020 TAX YEAR – SINGLE
Income Range Income Tax Rate Long-Term Capital Gains Rate
$0 to $9,875 10% 0%
$9,876 to $40,125 12% 0%; 15% at $40,001
$40,126 to $85,525 22%

15%

$85,526 to $163,300 24% 15%
$163,301 to $207,350 32% 15%
$207,351 to $518,400 35% 15%; 20% at $441,451
$518,401+ 37% 20%
              2020 TAX YEAR – MARRIED, FILING JOINTLY
Income Range Income Tax Rate Long-Term Capital Gains Rate
$0 to $19,750 10% 0%
$19,751 to $80,250 12% 0%; 15% at $80,001
$80,251 to $171,050 22% 15%
$171,051 to $326,600 24% 15%
$326,601 to $414,700 32% 15%
$414,701 to $622,050 35% 15%; 20% at $496,601
$622,051+ 37% 20%
            2020 TAX YEAR – MARRIED, FILING SEPARATELY
Income Range Income Tax Rate Long-Term Capital Gains Rate
$0 to $9,875 10% 0%
$9,876 to $40,125 12% 0%; 15% at $40,001
$40,126 to $85,525 22% 15%
$85,526 to $163,300 24% 15%
$163,301 to $207,350 32% 15%
$207,351 to $311,025 35% 15%; 20% at $248,301
$311,026+ 37% 20%
           2020 TAX YEAR – HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
Income Range Income Tax Rate Long-Term Capital Gains Rate
$0 to $14,100 10% 0%
$14,101 to $53,700 12% 0%; 15% at $53,601
$53,701 to $85,500 22% 15%
$85,501 to $163,300 24% 15%
$163,301 to $207,350 32% 15%
$207,351 to $518,400 35% 15%; 20% at $469,051
$518,401+ 37% 20%

The Hidden 0% Tax Bracket

Everyone is entitled to a standard deduction or itemized deductions and one or more personal exemptions. Together, these constitute a 0% tax bracket, in the sense that there's no tax imposed on the income represented by these deductible expenses.

Progressive Structure of the Tax Rates

The ordinary income tax rates are called progressive because the tax rate that applies progressively increases as a person's income increases. For example, someone with $1 million in income would have their income taxed at every tax bracket. Progressive tax rates are distinguished from a flat tax, where there's one tax rate that applies to all income, and regressive tax rates, in which tax rates decrease as income increases.

Average Tax Rates vs. Marginal Tax Rates

Marginal tax rates don't tell the full story when it comes to tax planning; a person's average tax rate should be considered because it's a person's total federal tax liability divided by their total income. Average tax rates indicate, on average, what the federal government taxes on a person's income. To find your average tax rate, take your total federal tax liability and divide it by your taxable income.