Federal Income Tax Rates for Tax Year 2013

Income Tax Rates and Brackets for the 2013 Tax Year

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The American Taxpayer Relief Act introduced a new top income tax bracket of 39.6% in tax year 2013, and that rate stayed in place for five years through 2017. Two new surtaxes were initiated that year as well: the Additional Medicare tax of 0.9% on wages and self-employment income, and the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) of 3.8% on a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income or net investment income, whichever was less.

Both applied to single filers earning more than $200,000, or $250,000 if you were married and filing jointly.  

Taxpayers in the highest tax bracket of 39.6% potentially faced a combined 43% marginal tax rate on their income—39.6% plus 3.8%.

NOTE: The following tax rates and tax brackets apply only to tax year 2013. They've been adjusted periodically for inflation since that time, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made further significant changes effective tax year 2018. As of 2019, the federal tax rates are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and the top rate has been dropped to 37%. 

Other Tax Changes in 2013

The Social Security tax reverted back to 12.4% in 2013. It had been at 10.4% in 2011 and 2012.

The Medicare tax remained at 2.9%, plus the Additional Medicare tax of 0.9% on wages and self-employment over the thresholds.

A 20% top tax rate was added to the long-term capital gains tax rates in 2013.

There were now three tiers of tax rates on capital gains and qualified dividends—zero, 15 and 20%—all tied to a taxpayer's ordinary income tax bracket. This arrangement remained in place until the TCJA assigned long-term gains their own tax brackets effective 2018. 

Capital gains can also be subject to the net investment income tax of 3.8%, making the top rate on long-term gains potentially 23.8%combined.

The alternative minimum tax rates remained at 26% and 28%.

2013 Federal Tax Rates by Filing Status

The following tax rates apply to ordinary income, which is most types of income. Special rates apply to long-term capital gains and qualified dividends.

Each tax rate applies to a specific range of taxable income called a tax bracket. Taxable income is your total income after various deductions and credits have been subtracted.

Single Filing Status

Tax Rate Schedule X, Internal Revenue Code section 1(c) provided the following tax brackets for the single filing status in 2013.

  • 10% on taxable income from $0 to $8,925, plus
  • 15% on taxable income over $8,925 to $36,250, plus
  • 25% on taxable income over $36,250 to $87,850, plus
  • 28% on taxable income over $87,850 to $183,250, plus
  • 33% on taxable income over $183,250 to $398,350, plus
  • 35% on taxable income over $398,350 to $400,000, plus
  • 39.6% on taxable income over $400,000.

Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er) Filing Status

Tax Rate Schedule Y-1, Internal Revenue Code section 1(a) addressed the married filing jointly status, as well as the qualifying widow(er) status. Taxpayers could—and still can—elect to file as qualifying widow(er)s for two years after the death of their spouses, preserving many of the advantages of being married and filing jointly, if they meet certain rules.

  • 10% on taxable income from $0 to $17,850, plus
  • 15% on taxable income over $17,850 to $72,500, plus
  • 25% on taxable income over $72,500 to $146,400, plus
  • 28% on taxable income over $146,400 to $223,050, plus
  • 33% on taxable income over $223,050 to $398,350, plus
  • 35% on taxable income over $398,350 to $450,000, plus
  • 39.6% on taxable income over $450,000.

Married Filing Separately Filing Status

Tax Rate Schedule Y-2, Internal Revenue Code section 1(d) set tax rates for married individuals who elect to file separate returns in 2013.

  • 10% on taxable income from $0 to $8,925, plus
  • 15% on taxable income over $8,925 to $36,250, plus
  • 25% on taxable income over $36,250 to $73,200, plus
  • 28% on taxable income over $73,200 to $111,525, plus
  • 33% on taxable income over $111,525 to $199,175, plus
  • 35% on taxable income over $199,175 to $225,000, plus
  • 39.6% on taxable income over $225,000.

Head of Household Filing Status

Tax Rate Schedule Z, Internal Revenue Code section 1(b) covered those who qualified to file as head of household

  • 10% on taxable income from $0 to $12,750, plus
  • 15% on taxable income over $12,750 to $48,600, plus
  • 25% on taxable income over $48,600 to $125,450, plus
  • 28% on taxable income over $125,450 to $203,150, plus
  • 33% on taxable income over $203,150 to $398,350, plus
  • 35% on taxable income over $398,350 to $425,000, plus
  • 39.6% on taxable income over $425,000.

Doing the Math 

Only your income that falls into a particular bracket or parameter is taxed at the associated rate. For example, if you were a head of household filer in 2013 and if you had $45,000 in taxable income that year after claiming all tax exemptions and deductions you were entitled to, your total tax would have been $6,112.

The first $12,750 of your income was taxed at 10% for a tax of $1,275. Only your income from $12,751 to $45,000—or $32,249—was taxed at what's referred to as your "marginal tax rate" of 15%. 

The tax on this portion of your income worked out to $4,837. Add to that the $1,275 tax on the first $12,750 of your income and you had a total tax due of $6,112. 

Marginal tax rates interact with other tax rates, especially the alternative minimum tax which can push income into a higher tax bracket and eliminate the tax savings of certain types of tax deductions. 

NOTE: Tax laws change periodically, and you should consult with a tax professional for the most up-to-date advice. The information contained in this article is not intended as tax advice and is not a substitute for tax advice.