Disclosure: We scrutinize our research, ratings and reviews using strict editorial integrity. In full transparency, this site may receive compensation from partners listed through affiliate partnerships, though this does not affect our ratings. Learn more about how we make money by visiting our advertiser disclosure.

It’s an unusual time of year for people who pay attention to their taxes. On the one hand, you’re worried about preparing and filing your tax return for 2023. On the other hand, you might already be planning ahead and trying to reduce your 2024 tax bill.

However, whether you’re in compliance mode or planning mode, which tax bracket you’re in and what tax rate you’ll pay are important pieces of the puzzle. That’s why taxpayers need to know and understand the annual changes to the tax brackets, and how the tax bracket you’re in dictates the rate you’ll pay.

But don’t worry if you’re not quite sure where you stand for either the 2023 or 2024 tax year—you’ve come to the right place. I’ll lay out the seven tax brackets and rates for both years in easy-to-understand tables, provide mathematical examples of how the tax brackets work, explain how to get a clearer understanding of what you owe with effective tax rates, offer tips for reducing your tax bill, and more.

Related: What’s Your Standard Deduction?

Top Tax Software Picks for 2024


Our DIY Tax Software Pick
Great for People Seeking In-Person Tax Help
4.7
4.6
Special 20% Off Offer Good Through 2/14/2024: DIY Options: $0-$71.20.* TurboTax Live Assisted ($0-$135.20) and TurboTax Live Full Service (Starting at $80.10) also available.** State filings are additional charges for paid products.***
DIY Options: Free: $0. Deluxe + State: $49. Premium: $75. Self-Employed: $89.* Online Assist, In-Person Assistance, and Drop-Off also available.**
Our DIY Tax Software Pick
4.7
Special 20% Off Offer Good Through 2/14/2024: DIY Options: $0-$71.20.* TurboTax Live Assisted ($0-$135.20) and TurboTax Live Full Service (Starting at $80.10) also available.** State filings are additional charges for paid products.***
Great for People Seeking In-Person Tax Help
4.6
DIY Options: Free: $0. Deluxe + State: $49. Premium: $75. Self-Employed: $89.* Online Assist, In-Person Assistance, and Drop-Off also available.**

Federal Income Tax Rates for 2023 and 2024


2023 2024 gears
DepositPhotos

The federal tax rates themselves haven’t changed from 2023 to 2024, since they’re not impacted by inflation from one year to the next. For both years, the seven federal tax rates are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.

However, nothing stays the same forever. Most of these tax rates are scheduled to rise starting with the 2026 tax year. That’s because the federal tax rates were lowered by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act beginning with the 2018 tax year—but the rate reduction is only temporary.

Once the temporary reduction expires, the seven federal income tax rates will be 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%.

The upcoming rate change isn’t set in stone, though. The scheduled rate hike could be delayed, moved up, or even repealed before 2026. However, we probably won’t have any clarity on potential changes until after the federal elections in November. At that point, we’ll know which political parties will control the White House and Congress starting in 2025 and have more information about their tax policy plans.

Related: States That Tax Social Security Benefits

Federal Income Tax Brackets for 2023


tax 2023 calculator screen
DepositPhotos

As we get into the tax brackets, let’s focus on the 2023 federal income tax brackets first, since most people are focused on filing their 2023 tax return at this time of year.

WealthUp Tip: The deadline for filing your 2023 federal income tax return is April 15, 2024, for most people. However, the deadline for residents of Maine and Massachusetts is April 17, 2024.

The tax brackets that apply to your 2023 tax return, based on the filing status you use (e.g., single, married filing separately, married filing jointly, surviving spouse, or head of household), are shown in the tables below.

The tables provide the tax rate, taxable income range, and tax calculation instructions for each tax bracket. So, once you know your 2023 filing status and taxable income, you can find the tax bracket—and highest tax rate—that applies to you.

2023 Tax Brackets for Single Filers

Tax RateTaxable Income RangeTax Calculation
10%$0 to $11,00010% of taxable income
12%$11,001 to $44,725$1,100 plus 12% of amount over $11,000
22%$44,726 to $95,375$5,147 plus 22% of amount over $44,725
24%$95,376 to $182,100$16,290 plus 24% of amount over $95,375
32%$182,101 to $231,250$37,104 plus 32% of amount over $182,100
35%$231,251 to $578,125$52,832 plus 35% of amount over $231,250
37%$578,126 or more$174,238.25 plus 37% of amount over $578,125

2023 Tax Brackets for Married Couples Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses

Tax RateTaxable Income RangeTax Calculation
10%$0 to $22,00010% of taxable income
12%$22,001 to $89,450$2,200 plus 12% of amount over $22,000
22%$89,451 to $190,750$10,294 plus 22% of amount over $89,450
24%$190,751 to $364,200$32,580 plus 24% of amount over $190,750
32%$364,201 to $462,500$74,208 plus 32% of amount over $364,200
35%$462,501 to $693,750$105,664 plus 35% of amount over $462,500
37%$693,751 or more$186,601.50 plus 37% of amount over $693,750

2023 Tax Brackets for Married Couples Filing Separately

Tax RateTaxable Income RangeTax Calculation
10%$0 to $11,00010% of taxable income
12%$11,001 to $44,725$1,100 plus 12% of amount over $11,000
22%$44,726 to $95,375$5,147 plus 22% of amount over $44,725
24%$95,376 to $182,100$16,290 plus 24% of amount over $95,375
32%$182,101 to $231,250$37,104 plus 32% of amount over $182,100
35%$231,251 to $346,875$52,832 plus 35% of amount over $231,250
37%$346,876 or more$93,300.75 plus 37% of amount over $346,875

2023 Tax Brackets for Head-of-Household Filers

Tax RateTaxable Income RangeTax Calculation
10%$0 to $15,70010% of taxable income
12%$15,701 to $59,850$1,570 plus 12% of amount over $15,700
22%$59,851 to $95,350$6,868 plus 22% of amount over $59,850
24%$95,351 to $182,100$14,678 plus 24% of amount over $95,350
32%$182,101 to $231,250$35,498 plus 32% of amount over $182,100
35%$231,251 to $578,100$51,226 plus 35% of amount over $231,250
37%$578,101 or more$172,623.50 plus 37% of amount over $578,100

Related: 11 Education Tax Credits and Deductions

How Do the Tax Brackets Work?


education tax credits interest wooden cubes
DepositPhotos

Before getting to the 2024 tax brackets, it’s probably worthwhile at this point to explain how the tax brackets work (the explanation might also make more sense now that you’ve seen the 2023 brackets).

Many people think that all their income is taxed at the rate tied to their tax bracket. However, that’s not how the federal income tax brackets work. Instead, unless you’re in the 10% bracket, at least some of your income will be taxed at a lower tax rate than the rate connected to your tax bracket.

The U.S. tax code uses marginal tax rates, which basically means that only the income that falls within the taxable income range for each tax bracket is taxed at that bracket’s corresponding tax rate. Income below your marginal tax bracket is taxed at lower rates according to the income ranges for any lower tax bracket. As a result, marginal tax rates reduce income taxes for almost everyone.

Related: 30 Tax Statistics and Facts That Might Surprise You

Example

Nicholas is a single filer and has $60,000 of taxable income for the 2023 tax year. That puts him in the 22% tax bracket. However, he doesn’t owe 22% of $60,000, which would be $13,200 ($60,000 x .22 = $13,200). He actually owes less.

The first $11,000 of Nicholas’s income is taxed at the 10% marginal tax rate, which results in $1,100 of tax.

The next $33,725 of his income (i.e., from $11,001 to $44,725) is taxed at the 12% marginal tax rate, which adds $4,047 of tax.

And, finally, the remaining $15,275 of Nicholas’s income (i.e., from $44,726 to $60,000) is taxed at the 22% rate, which comes to $3,361 of tax.

As a result, Nicholas’s total tax, when all of the separate amounts are added up, comes to $8,508, which is $4,692 less than the $13,200 tax if a flat 22% applied to all his income.

You can also see this calculation method play out in the various federal income tax brackets shown above. You’ll notice that, except for the 10% tax bracket, the tax calculations always begin with a dollar amount that is added to the amount taxed at the bracket’s corresponding marginal tax rate. The dollar amounts represent the tax due on all taxable income in each lower tax bracket.

So, looking at the 22% tax bracket above for single filers, you can see that the tax on income from the 10% and 12% brackets for the 2023 tax year equals $5,147—which is exactly the amount calculated for Nicholas in the example above ($1,100 + $4,047 = $5,147). Then, to determine the total tax amount, the tax rate tied to the taxpayer’s tax bracket is applied to the remaining income (i.e., the amount over the previous bracket’s upper threshold). The resulting amount is added to the tax from the lower brackets.

It’s important to note, though, that the tax amount resulting from use of the tax brackets isn’t necessarily what you will owe the IRS when your tax return is finished. After the tax is calculated, your final tax bill could be lower once any tax credits, withheld taxes, or estimated tax payments are subtracted from the total.

In some cases, your credits, withholding, and estimated payments can surpass the amount calculated using the tax brackets, in which case you might be due a refund.

Related: Earned Income Tax Credit: How Much, Eligibility + More

Federal Income Tax Brackets for 2024


tax brackets numbers
DepositPhotos

Pat yourself on the back if you’re already wondering about the 2024 tax brackets and rates. Thinking ahead (i.e., “tax planning”) can save you a lot of money. So, let’s get to the tax brackets for the 2024 tax year, which can be found below.

You’ll use the new tax brackets when you file your 2024 tax return, which won’t be due until April 2025. However, you can use them in advance to plan out any personal finance moves to lower the tax bill you’ll pay in 2025.

2024 Tax Brackets for Single Filers

Tax RateTaxable Income RangeTax Calculation
10%$0 to $11,60010% of taxable income
12%$11,601 to $47,150$1,160 plus 12% of amount over $11,600
22%$47,151 to $100,525$5,426 plus 22% of amount over $47,150
24%$100,526 to $191,950$17,168.50 plus 24% of amount over $100,525
32%$191,951 to $243,725$39,110.50 plus 32% of amount over $191,150
35%$243,726 to $609,350$55678.50 plus 35% of amount over $243,725
37%$609,351 or more$183,647.25 plus 37% of amount over $609,350

2024 Tax Brackets for Married Couples Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses

Tax RateTaxable Income RangeTax Calculation
10%$0 to $23,20010% of taxable income
12%$23,201 to $94,300$2,320 plus 12% of amount over $23,200
22%$94,301 to $201,050$10,852 plus 22% of amount over $94,300
24%$201,051 to $383,900$34,337 plus 24% of amount over $201,050
32%$383,901 to $487,450$78,221 plus 32% of amount over $383,900
35%$487,451 to $731,200$111,357 plus 35% of amount over $487,450
37%$731,201 or more$196,669.50 plus 37% of amount over $731,200

2024 Tax Brackets for Married Couples Filing Separately

Tax RateTaxable Income RangeTax Calculation
10%$0 to $11,60010% of taxable income
12%$11,601 to $47,150$1,160 plus 12% of amount over $11,600
22%$47,151 to $100,525$5,426 plus 22% of amount over $47,150
24%$100,526 to $191,950$17,168.50 plus 24% of amount over $100,525
32%$191,951 to $243,725$39,110.50 plus 32% of amount over $191,150
35%$243,726 to $365,600$55,678.50 plus 35% of amount over $243,725
37%$365,601 or more$98,334.75 plus 37% of amount over $365,600

2024 Tax Brackets for Head-of-Household Filers

Tax RateTaxable Income RangeTax Calculation
10%$0 to $16,55010% of taxable income
12%$16,551 to $63,100$1,655 plus 12% of amount over $16,550
22%$63,101 to $100,500$7,241 plus 22% of amount over $63,100
24%$100,501 to $191,950$15,469 plus 24% of amount over $100,500
32%$191,951 to $243,700$37,417 plus 32% of amount over $191,150
35%$243, 701 to $609,350$53,977 plus 35% of amount over $243,700
37%$609,351 or more$181,954.50 plus 37% of amount over $609,350

Related: Child Tax Credit FAQs [What Every Parent Needs to Know]

Inflation Adjustments for 2024 Tax Brackets


tax brackets coins blocks
DepositPhotos

As noted above, the tax rates for 2024 are the same as the rates for 2023—10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%. However, the taxable income ranges for each federal income tax bracket are adjusted each year to account for inflation. As a result, the tax brackets for 2024 are different than the 2023 brackets.

Inflation adjustments increase both the “floor” and “ceiling” of each tax bracket. They also expand the “width” of each bracket’s taxable income range (i.e., the gap between the bracket’s lower and upper income thresholds).

For instance, the 22% tax bracket for single filers applies to $50,650 of income for the 2023 tax year (i.e., income from $44,726 to $95,375), but it applies to $53,375 of income for 2024 (i.e., income from $47,151 to $100,525). That’s an increase of about 5.4% to the bracket’s width from 2023 to 2024. (The bracket ranges increased an eye-popping 7.1% from 2022 to 2023.)

But don’t worry—the annual adjustments for inflation are actually a good thing. They help prevent “bracket creep,” which is when you find yourself in a higher tax bracket from one year to the next even though your income grows slower than the rate of inflation.

For example, if Nicholas, who is a single filer, sees his taxable income grow from $95,000 to $100,000 from 2023 to 2024, he’s still going to be in the 22% bracket when he completes his 2024 tax return. However, if the bracket’s width had increased by a more modest amount for 2024—say, by 4.5%—then Nicholas would find himself in the 24% bracket, which would apply to single filers once 2024 income exceeds about $99,675.

A smaller increase to the brackets’ width can also push you down to a lower tax bracket. For instance, if Harper’s income rises from $45,000 to $47,000 from 2023 to 2024, she would drop from the 22% bracket for singles for 2023 to the 12% bracket for 2024. But if the 22% bracket’s width had increased by only 5% for 2024, then Harper would remain in the 22% bracket for 2024, which would likely kick in around the $46,975 mark.

Related: Student Loan Interest Deduction: How Much, Eligibility + More

What’s Your Effective Tax Rate?


man thinking with question marks
DepositPhotos

There’s a different tax rate that you may have heard of: an effective tax rate. It refers to the percentage of your taxable income paid in income tax. Because use of marginal tax rates results in your income being taxed at different rates, it’s not necessarily the best indicator of your overall income tax burden. Many people believe using your effective tax rate provides a clearer picture.

To calculate your effective tax rate, divide your tax as calculated using the tax brackets or tax tables (Line 16 on your 2023 Form 1040) by your taxable income (Line 15 on your 2023 return).

To illustrate, assume you’re a single taxpayer with a 2023 taxable income of $50,000. According to the 2023 tax bracket for single filers, you owe $6,308 in tax. In that case, your effective tax rate is rounded to 12.6% ($6,308 ÷ $50,000 = 0.12616), even though you fall within the 22% tax bracket.

Related: 8 Free Tax Filing Options for 2024

Tips for Lowering Your Tax Rate for the 2024 Tax Year


eraser taxes
DepositPhotos

What can you do if it looks like you might be in a higher tax bracket for the 2024 tax year? My advice is to do whatever you can between now and the end of the year to lower your taxable income. If you can bring your taxable income down enough, you just might find yourself in a lower tax bracket when you file your federal tax return next year.

Here are a few common ways to bring down your taxable income for the year.

Contribute to “Pre-Tax” Retirement Savings Accounts

With “pre-tax” retirement accounts, you get a tax break when you put money in the account. For example, if you squirrel away money in a traditional IRA, you can generally claim a tax deduction for the amount contributed. Likewise, if you have money taken out of your paycheck and deposited into a traditional 401(k) account, that money isn’t included as income on your W-2 form. Either way, your taxable income for the year is lower, which could put you in a lower tax bracket.

WealthUp Tip: If you’re self-employed or a small business owner, you can get similar results by opening and contributing to a SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or solo 401(k) plan.

However, make sure you don’t exceed the contribution limits for these types of retirement accounts. Doing so can result in a stiff penalty from the IRS.

For 2024, the annual contribution limit for all your IRAs is $7,000 if you’re under age 50, or $8,000 if you’re 50 or older. (This extra $1,000, which is only allowed for people who are at least 50 years old, is called a “catch-up” contribution.)

The 2024 contribution limit for 401(k) plans is $23,000 if you’re under 50 years. If you’re at least 50 years old, you can put in up to $30,500.

Related: Should You Max Out Your 401(k) Each Year? [Yes…and No]

Put Money Into a Health Savings Account

If you’re covered by a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can also make “pre-tax” contributions to a health savings account (HSA). The tax deduction you get for the money contributed to an HSA will lower your taxable income … just like contributions to a traditional IRA.

You also have to worry about the annual HSA contribution limits … just like with a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan. The 2024 HSA contribution limits are:

  • $4,150 if you have self-only coverage under a HDHP
  • $8,300 if you have family coverage under a HDHP

If you’re at least 55 years old at the end of the year, you can contribute an additional $1,000 for the year.

Related: How to Use Your HSA for Retirement

Give More to Charity

If you plan to itemize instead of claiming the standard deduction, giving more to charity can lower your taxable income. That’s because itemizers can claim a charitable tax deduction for donations to religious, charitable, educational, scientific, or literary organizations.

You can get a deduction for cash or non-cash donations. So, if you want to declutter your house, empty out those closets of any no-longer-needed linens, clothes, shoes, household goods, and anything else you can think of to donate. Doing so could lower your taxable income and cut your 2024 tax bill.

If you volunteer for a charitable organization, you can also deduct 14¢ for every mile you drive during the year while volunteering. Parking fees and tolls you pay while volunteering for a charitable organization are also deductible, as long as you aren’t reimbursed for those costs.

You might also get an income tax deduction for donating stock to charity (although the deduction could be limited to a percentage of your adjusted gross income). If you donate appreciated property like stock to a charitable organization, you also won’t have to pay capital gains tax on the increase in value.

However, you generally can’t deduct donations or gifts for which you received a benefit in return (e.g., food, entertainment, or merchandise). In that case, you can only deduct the value of your gift or donation that’s more than the value of the benefit you received.

Pre-Pay Deductible Expenses

When we get closer to the end of the year, paying certain expenses in 2024, instead of in 2025, could also lower your taxable income for the year.

For example, if your child is attending college and you have a tuition bill due in January, paying the bill in December could allow you to claim the American Opportunity tax credit for the 2024 tax year—or claim a larger credit for 2024.

If you itemize, scheduling medical or dental appointments in 2024 that you otherwise wouldn’t bother with until next year could also help lower this year’s taxable income. Just be aware that you can only deduct medical or dental expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. So, if you’re still not going to spend that much on medical or dental procedures, then it’s not worth scheduling appointments early. However, if you’ve already exceeded that threshold, then pack as many other medical or dental expenses into the year as possible, since you might not be able to deduct the additional medical bills next year.

Related: When Are Taxes Due? [2024 Tax Deadlines]

There’s Still Time to Cut Your 2023 Tax Bill, Too


tax checklist
DepositPhotos

Even though the 2023 tax year has ended, you can still lower your 2023 tax bill … and save for future expenses at the same time. That’s a win-win!

You have until the April 15, 2024, tax filing deadline to contribute to an IRA and HSA for the 2023 tax year (April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts). If you don’t request a tax filing extension, it’s also the deadline to contribute to a solo 401(k) plan or SEP IRA for 2023.

If you make “pre-tax” contributions to one of these accounts (e.g., to a traditional IRA instead of a Roth IRA), you can generally claim a tax deduction for the amount contributed. So, if you make a contribution for the 2023 tax year before the April deadline, that tax deduction can reduce the amount of tax you owe for 2023 (i.e., on the federal income tax return you file in 2024).

Just make sure you don’t exceed the 2023 annual contribution limits for the type of account that you put money in for the 2023 tax year. Doing so can result in a stiff penalty from the IRS.

WealthUp Tip: If you put money in one of these accounts in 2024 before the April 15 (or April 17) due date, make sure you let the account administrator know that your contribution is for the 2023 tax year.

Related:

Rocky has been covering federal and state tax developments for over 25 years. During that time, he has provided tax information and guidance to millions of tax professionals and ordinary Americans. As Senior Tax Editor for WealthUp from Jan. 2023 to Feb. 2024, Rocky spent most of his time writing and editing online tax content.

Before working for WealthUp, Rocky was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger, where he wrote and edited tax content for Kiplinger.com, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report and The Kiplinger Tax Letter. Prior to his time at Kiplinger, Rocky was a Senior Writer/Analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. In that role, he managed a portfolio of print and digital state income tax research products, led the development of various new print and online products, authored white papers and other special publications, coordinated with authors of a state tax treatise, and acted as media contact for the state income tax group (where he was quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other national media outlets). Before that, Rocky was an Executive Editor at Kleinrock Publishing, which provided tax research products for tax professionals. At Kleinrock, he directed the development, maintenance, and enhancement of all state tax and payroll law publications, including electronic research products, monthly newsletters, and handbooks.

Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.