2017-2018 Federal Income Tax Brackets

There are seven federal income tax brackets, and depending on what your taxable income is, you'll pay a rate between 10% and 39.6%.
Income Taxes, Taxes
You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here's how we make money.
federal-income-tax-brackets-story

Because the United States has a progressive federal tax system, you’re going to land in one of these seven federal income tax brackets in 2017: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% or 39.6%.

2017 Federal Income Tax Brackets

Single filers

Tax rateTaxable income bracketTax owed
10%$0 to $9,32510% of taxable income
15%$9,326 to $37,950$932.50 plus 15% of the amount over $9,325
25%$37,951 to $91,900$5,226.25 plus 25% of the amount over $37,950
28%$91,901 to $191,650$18,713.75 plus 28% of the amount over $91,900
33%$191,651 to $416,700$46,643.75 plus 33% of the amount over $191,650
35%$416,701 to $418,400$120,910.25 plus 35% of the amount over $416,700
39.6%$418,401 or more$121,505.25 plus 39.6% of the amount over $418,400

Married Filing Jointly / Qualifying Widow(er)

Tax rateTaxable income bracketTax owed
10%$0 to $18,65010% of taxable income
15%$18,651 to $75,900$1,865.00 plus 15% of the amount over $18,650
25%$75,901 to $153,100$10,452.50 plus 25% of the amount over $75,900
28%$153,101 to $233,350$29,752.50 plus 28% of the amount over $153,100
33%$233,351 to $416,700$52,222.50 plus 33% of the amount over $233,350
35%$416,701 to $470,700$112,728.00 plus 35% of the amount over $416,700
39.6%$470,701 or more$131,628.00 plus 39.6% of the amount over $470,700

Married Filing Separately

Tax rateTaxable income bracketTax owed
10%$0 to $9,32510% of taxable income
15%$9,326 to $37,950$9232.50 plus 15% of the amount over $9,325
25%$37,951 to $76,550$5,226.25 plus 25% of the amount over $37,950
28%$76,551 to $116,675$14,876.25 plus 28% of the amount over $76,550
33%$116,676 to $208,350$26,111.25 plus 33% of the amount over $116,675
35%$208,351 to $235,350$56,364.00 plus 35% of the amount over $208,350
39.6%$235,351 or more$65,814.00 plus 39.6% of the amount over $235,350

Head of Household

Tax rateTaxable income bracketTax owed
10%$0 to $13,35010% of taxable income
15%$13,351 to $50,800$1,335.00 plus 15% of the amount over $13,350
25%$50,801 to $131,200$6,952.50 plus 25% of the amount over $50,800
28%$131,201 to $212,500$27,052.50 plus 28% of the amount over $131,200
33%$212,501 to $416,700$49,816.50 plus 33% of the amount over $212,500
35%$416,701 to $444,550$117,202.50 plus 35% of the amount over $416,700
39.6%$444,551 or more$126,950.00 plus 39.6% of the amount over $444,550

(The 2018 tax brackets are out, too)

The IRS has released the income brackets for the 2018 tax year. While you might not need this information until April 2019, if you want to know now, click below to reveal them.

How tax brackets work

Being in the 25% tax bracket doesn’t mean you pay 25% on everything you make. The progressive tax system means that people with higher taxable incomes are subject to higher tax rates, and people with lower taxable incomes are subject to lower tax rates.

The government decides how much tax you owe by dividing your taxable income into chunks — also known as tax brackets — and each chunk gets taxed at the corresponding rate. The beauty of this is that no matter which bracket you’re in, you won’t pay that rate on your entire income.

Being in the 25% tax bracket doesn’t mean you pay 25% on everything you make.

For example, let’s say you’re a single filer with $32,000 in taxable income. That puts you in the 15% tax bracket in 2017. But do you pay 15% on all $32,000? No. Actually, you pay only 10% on the first $9,325; you pay 15% on the rest. (Look at the tax brackets above to see the breakout.)

If you had $50,000 of taxable income, you’d pay 10% on that first $9,325 and 15% on the chunk of income between $9,326 and $37,950. And then you’d pay 25% on the rest, because some of your $50,000 of taxable income falls into the 25% tax bracket. The total bill would be about $8,200 — about 16% of your taxable income, even though you’re in the 25% bracket.

Now, this is the deal only for federal income taxes; your state might have different brackets, a flat income tax or even no income tax at all.

Not sure what bracket you’re in? Try our calculator below.

How to get into a lower tax bracket

The short answer: maximize your tax deductions — they can reduce your taxable income and could kick you to a lower bracket.

For example, you can potentially move to a lower tax bracket by contributing to pre-tax retirement accounts like your 401(k) or a traditional IRA (use our free retirement planning tool to see how you can get the most tax savings from retirement contributions).

Next steps

If you’re ready to file, we can help you choose tax software and find the fastest way to get your refund. You can also use our federal tax calculator to estimate where your income and potential refund falls.

In the longer term, taking steps to reduce your taxable income can go hand in hand with saving for retirement and estate planning to leave more for your heirs.

This post was updated on Oct. 30, 2017.