2021 vs 2020 Federal IRS Tax Brackets, Tax Rates and Standard Deduction Updates

[Updated with 2021 Tax Brackets] Below are the official 2021 IRS tax brackets. Note that the updated tax rates and taxable income brackets would only apply for the 2021 tax year (filed in 2022). For current tax filings, covering the 2020 tax year, refer to the 2020 tax brackets update/table below.

2021 Federal Taxable Income IRS Tax Brackets and Rates

Tax RateSingle FilersMarried Filing Jointly + SSMarried, filing separatelyHead of Household
10%Up to $9,950Up to $19,900Up to $9,950Up to $14,200
12%$9,951 to $40,525$19,901 to $81,050$9,951 to $40,525$14,201 to $54,200
22%$40,526 to $86,375$81,051 to $172,750$40,526 to $86,375$54,201 to $86,350
24%$86,376 to $164,925$172,751 to $329,850$86,376 to $164,925$86,351 to $164,900
32%$164,926 to $209,425$329,851 to $418,850$164,926 to $209,425$164,901 to $209,400
35%$209,426 to $523,600$418,851 to $628,300$209,426 to $314,150$209,401 to $523,600
37%Over $523,600Over $628,300Over $314,150Over $523,600
Standard Deduction$12,550$25,100$12,550$18,800

2020 Tax Brackets

2020 tax brackets/income thresholds (and subsequent years) are now based on the more accurate chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) formula the IRS has been mandated to use. Prior to that the standard CPI was used to adjust the brackets.

2020 Income Tax Brackets and Rates

Tax RateSingle FilersMarried Filing JointlyMarried, filing separatelyHead of Household
10%Up to $9,875Up to $19,750Up to $9,875Up to $14,100
12%$9,876 to $40,125$19,751 to $80,250$9,876 to $40,125$14,101 to $53,700
22%$40,126 to $85,525$80,251 to $171,050$40,126 to $85,525$53,701 to $85,500
24%$85,526 to $163,300$171,051 to $326,600$85,526 to $163,300$85,501 to $163,300
32%$163,301 to $207,350$326,601 to $414,700$163,301 to $207,350$163,301 to $207,350
35%$207,351 to $518,400$414,701 to $622,050$207,351 to $311,025$207,351 to $518,400
37%$518,400+$622,050+$311,025+$518,400+

2019 Tax Brackets

Below are the 2019 IRS tax brackets. Note that the updated tax rates and brackets would only apply for the 2019 tax year (filed in 2020). For current tax filings, covering the 2018 tax year, refer to the 2018 tax brackets update/table below.

2019 Income Tax Brackets and Rates

Tax RateSingle FilersMarried Filing JointlyMarried, filing separatelyHead of Household
10%Up to $9,700Up to $19,400Up to $9,700Up to $13,850
12%$9,701 to $39,475$19,401 to $78,950$9,701 to $39,475$13,851 to $52,850
22%$39,476 to $84,200$78,951 to $168,400$39,476 to $84,200$52,851 to $84,200
24%$84,201 to $160,725$168,401 to $321,450$84,201 to $160,725$84,201 to $160,700
32%$160,726 to $204,100$321,451 to $408,200$160,726 to $204,100$160,701 to $204,100
35%$204,101 to $510,300$408,201 to $612,350$204,101 to $306,175 $204,101 to $510,300
37%$510,301+$612,351+$306,176+$510,301+

The standard deduction in 2019 will increase to $12,200/$24,400 (single/married) and $18,350 for heads of household. The personal exemption was eliminated last year.

2018 Tax Brackets

Below are the updated tax brackets next year following passage of the Trump/GOP tax reform bill. These tax brackets and income thresholds supersede the 2018 IRS tax brackets published in the earlier updates below.

The standard deduction in 2018 will almost double to $12,000/$24,000 (single/married) under the GOP tax bill. The $4,150 personal exemption will be fully eliminated for 2018.

Note – Use the 2017 IRS tax brackets published in the section below for your tax filing in 2018 (covering the 2017 tax year). Start your tax filing for free with the the following tax software providers: TurboTax and TaxAct

2018 Income Tax Brackets and Rates under Reconciled/Final Trump GOP Tax bill

Tax RateSingle FilersMarried Filing JointlyMarried, filing separatelyHead of Household
10%Up to $9,525Up to $19,050Up to $9,525Up to $13,600
12%$9,526 to $38,700$19,051 to $77,400$9,526 to $38,700$13,601 to $51,800
22%$38,701 to $82,500$77,401 to $165,000$38,701 to $$82,500$51,801 to $82,500
24%$82,501 to $157,500$165,001 to $315,000$82,501 to $157,500$82,501 to $157,500
32%$157,501 to $200,000$315,001 to $400,000$157,501 to $200,000$157,501 to $200,000
35%$200,001 to $500,000$400,001 to $600,000$200,001 to $300,000$200,001 to $500,000
37%$500,000+$600,000+$300,000+$500,000+

See this article for a comparison and evolution of the 2018 GOP Tax Brackets. I will update the above tax brackets if the IRS provides any further updates as the tax law details and impacts are fully assessed.  Please consider sharing this page and staying connected via Facebook, Twitter or your other preferred social media channel.

______________

With the continued low inflation environment federal IRS tax brackets, standard deductions and personal exemptions have only moderately increased in the past few years. Federal income tax brackets and related tax items are adjusted annually, under the tax code, to provide for mandatory cost of living adjustments (COLA). The tables and changes below reflect the latest IRS information (per IRS.gov). Click through the various links for further information on each tax or income item.

2018 Federal IRS Tax Brackets

The following table lists the federal 2018 IRS Tax Brackets, standard deductions and personal exemptions (for taxes filed in 2019).

2018 Federal Tax Rates and Marginal Tax Brackets

Tax RateSingleMarried Filing JointlyMarried Filing SeparateHead of Household
10%$0–$9,525$0-$19,050$0–$9,525$0-$13,600
15%$9,526–$38,700$19,051-$77,400$9,526–$38,700$13,601-$51,850
25%$38,701-$93,700$77,401-$156,150$38,701-$78,075$51,851-$133,850
28%$93,701–$195,450$156,151-$237,950$78,076-$118,975$133,851-$216,700
33%$195,451-$424,950$237,951 -$424,950$118,976-$212,475$216,701-$424,950
35%$424,951-$426,700$424,951-$480,050$212,476-$240,025$424,951-$453,350
39.6%over $426,700over $480,050over $240,025over $453,350
Exemption$4,050$4,050$4,050$4,050
Std Deduction$6,350$12,700$6,350$9,350

2017 Federal IRS Tax Brackets

See below for the 2017 IRS Tax Brackets, standard deductions and personal exemptions (for taxes filed in 2018). Related changes over 2016 levels are also provided that reflect moderate changes.

2017 Federal Tax Rates and Marginal Tax Brackets

Tax RateSingleMarried Filing JointlyMarried Filing SeparateHead of Household
10%$0 – $9,325$0 - $18,650$0–$9,325$0-$13,350
15%$9,326 – $37,950$18,651 - $75,900$9,376–$37,950$13,351-$50,800
25%$37,951 - $91,900$75,901 - $153,100$37,951-$76,550$50,801-$131,200
28%$91,901 – $191,650$153,101 - $233,350$76,551-$116,675$131,201-$212,500
33%$190,651-$416,700$233,351 - $416,700$116,676-$208,350$212,501-$416,700
35%$416,701-$418,400$416,701 - $470,700$208,351-$235,350$416,701-$444,550
39.6%over $418,400over $470,700over $235,350over $444,550
Exemption$4,050$4,050$4,050$4,050
Std Deduction$6,350$12,700$6,350$9,350

Key 2017 tax updates:

  • Marginal tax rates will remain the same as last year with 39.6% being the highest marginal tax rate. Tax brackets ranges will increase in line with COLA, so people with no income increases will actually see a lower marginal tax rate.
  • The standard deduction rises by $50 for heads of household, single and married filling separate filers. Married couples filing jointly’s standard deduction rises by $100 over 2016 levels.
  • The personal exemption stayed flat and did not rise for any filing type group. The exemption can be claimed for all qualifying dependents.
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption rose marginally in line with inflation. See more on AMT changes here.
  • The maximum Earned Income Tax Credit thresholds will increased moderately relative to other tax credits given the number of low income people that depend on this. See the latest EIC tables,
  • The gift tax exclusion will remain at $14,000
  • Health Flexible spending arrangements (FSA) employee contribution limits will rise by $50 to $2,600 as mandated under the Affordable Care Act. The health FSA pre-tax deduction limit is per employee, per employer per plan year.
  • 401K and IRA limits stayed generally flat in 2017
  • Foreign earned income exclusion increased by $800 to $102,100.

[2017 Election Update]With Donald Trump elected as President we could see considerable tax changes in the year ahead. See this article for a preview of potential changes.

I will update this article with any changes for the current and upcoming tax years. If the information here was useful please consider sharing this page via Facebook, Twitter or your other preferred social media channels.

_______________________

2016 Federal Tax Rates and IRS Marginal Tax Brackets

Tax RateSingle FilersMarried Filing JointlyMarried Filing SeparateHead of Household
10%$0 – $9,275$0 - $18,550$0 – $9,275$0-$13,250
15%$9,275 – $37,650$18,551 - $75,300$9,275 – $37,650$13,251-$50,400
25%$37,651-$91,150$75,301 - $151,900$37,651 - $75,950$50,401-$130,150
28%$91,151-$190,150$151,901 - $231,450$75,951 – $115,275$130,151-$210,800
33%$190,151-$413,350$231,451 - $413,350$115,276 - $206,675$210,801-$413,350
35%$413,351-$415,050$413,351 - $466,950$206,676 - $233,475$413,351-$441,000
39.6%over $415,050over $466,950over $233,475over $441,000
Exemption$4,050$4,050$4,050$4,050
Std Deduction$6,300$12,600$6,300$9,300
Key 2016 tax updates:

  • Marginal tax rates will remain the same as last year with 39.6% being the highest marginal tax rate. But since tax brackets ranges will increase, people with no income increases will actually see a lower marginal tax rate (see this article for details on this effect). The table above list the detailed changes for each marginal tax bracket – 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35 and 39.6 percent
  • The standard deduction rose by $50 for heads of household, but stayed the same in 2016 for single filers  and married people filing separate returns ($6,300).  Married couples filing jointly’s standard deduction also stay flat in 2016 at $12,600.
  • The personal exemption rose by $50.  However, the exemption is subject to a phase-out (per laws enacted a few years ago) that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $259,400 ($311,300 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $381,900 ($433,800 for married couples filing jointly.)
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption rose marginally in line with inflation. For tax year 2016, the AMT exemption for single filers  is $53,900 and begins to phase out at $119,700. For married couples filing jointly the AMT exemption is $83,800 and begins to phase out at $159,700. For tax year 2016, the 28 percent AMT tax rate applies to taxpayers with taxable incomes above $186,300 ($93,150 for married individuals filing separately).
  • The maximum Earned Income Credit (EIC) will increased moderately relative to other tax credits given the number of low income people that depend on this. The EITC s $6,269 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children, up from a total of $6,242 for tax year 2015.
  • The gift tax exclusion will remain at $14,000
  • Health Flexible spending arrangements (FSA) employee contribution limits will rise by $50 to $2,550.
  • Foreign earned income exclusion increased by $500 to $101,300 despite the rise in the US dollar.

This article was updated on October 26

Subscribe now to get the latest updates, exclusive content and related articles delivered directly to you


15 thoughts on “2021 vs 2020 Federal IRS Tax Brackets, Tax Rates and Standard Deduction Updates

  1. Our president promised our nation “the greatest tax cut ever”. A family of 3 filing a tax return for tax year 2017 would have been able to take a standard deduction of $12,700., and exemptions of $4,050 for each of 3 people. This would have given them a total income reduction of $24,850. The same 3 people would be able to take a $24,000. deduction for 2018, but no exemptions, since they have been eliminated. Considering that if they received a cost of living increase, which is comparable to inflation, and comparing the two tax tables, they would probably be in worse shape financially then they were before. This doesn’t sound like” the greatest tax cut ever”. This sounds like “fuzzy math” to me!

  2. Do the income ranges in these tables refer to Adjusted Gross Income or Taxable income?

  3. Am I seeing things or are the brackets for married filing separate filers and single filers the same?

  4. Thanks for the updated information.
    This article erroneously states that the standard deduction in 2018 “will double” and lists the new $24,000 standard deduction for married filing jointly. However, the 2017 standard deduction for married filing jointly is $12,700 which doubled is $25,400.

    When the elimination of the personal exemption is factored in, the bottom line change to the deduction allowed for a couple is a 15.4% increase, not 100% (if the deduction were doubled). (In 2017, standard deduction $12,700 plus 2 personal exemptions ($4,050 x 2 = $8,100) = $20,800 total deduction compared to 2018’s $24,000 total deduction.)

    1. :) yes thanks for the correction. Fixed now – typing too quickly and auto-correct kicked in I guess.

  5. Under the Senate and House tax plans, how will qualified dividends be taxed? That is, for 2017, if
    non-qualified-dividend taxable income for married filing jointly is less than $75,900, then the
    qualified dividends are taxed at 0%. E.g., if $150,000 taxable income splits into $100,000 qualified
    dividends and $50,000 non-qualified-dividend income, then the tax computation for qualified dividends
    in 2017 would be ($100,000 + $50,000 – $75,900) x 15%.

  6. My refund got accepted on February 6 i got my state but not my federal it still say processing why is that

  7. I heard a rumor that President-elect Trump plans to increase the federal income tax on the lowest incomes from 10% to 12%. I haven’t been able to find out anything about that on fact-checking websites. Is there any truth to that rumor?

    1. No that is not true. He actually wants to lower the tax burden from the lowest earners to 0% income tax. It is on his website under plans. Look for his tax plans!

      1. sorry but no.. if you look at what he has purposed, he wants to make a 3 bracket system, placing the two lowest brackets into one of 12%. this will raise the lowest from its current 10% and lower the sec lowest from the current 15%. great for those in the current 15% bracket, but really really bad for those already struggling to death on the current 10%

  8. The spelling of “filing’ is misspelled in your chart column headers on this page. It is spelled correctly in the text info but not in the headers.

Leave a Reply to Edward Fiala Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link