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2018 Federal Income Tax Brackets

The IRS has released the 2018 tax rates. Here they are by income and tax filing status. We also cover exemption amounts and standard deduction.

2018 tax rates

Ah, fall has arrived. You know, the time of year when the leaves change colors, the days get shorter . . . and the IRS releases next year’s tax brackets.

This year is no different. Last week, Uncle Sam let us know how much we can expect to pay in taxes next year, based on our income.

It’s important to remember that these numbers are not the ones you’ll be using to prepare your taxes this coming spring. (If you need a refresher, those numbers can be found on the 2017 bracket page.)

Instead, these 2018 brackets are for the taxes you can expect to pay on any income that you earn in 2018. This means that you’ll use these numbers for the taxes that you prepare in the spring of 2019. Let’s take a look and see what’s new.

Updated Tax Rates

The new brackets below outline the taxes that you can expect to pay from January through December of 2018, which you’ll then file in spring 2019. You can use them to adjust your withholdings and plan your finances next year (especially if you’re a contract employee or freelancer and need to pay quarterly taxes).

2018 Marginal Rates

As you can expect, bracket limits have been bumped for the year. The limits haven’t risen all that much, though, so your impact won’t be too significant.

Here’s a look at the chart:

2018 Tax Brackets

Here are the tax brackets in more detail.

Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouses

Taxable Income Taxes
Up to $19,050 10% of taxable income
Over $19,050 but not over $77,400 $1,905 plus 15% of excess over $19,050
Over $77,400 but not over $156,150 $10,657.50 plus 25% of the excess over $77,400
Over $156,150 but not over $237,950 $30,345 plus 28% of the excess over $156,150
Over $237,950 but not over $424,950 $53,249 plus 33% of the excess over $237,950
Over $424,950 but not over $480,050 $114,959 plus 35% of the excess over $424,950
Over $480,050 $134,244 plus 39.6% of the excess over $480,050

Heads of Households

Taxable Income Taxes
Up to $13,600 10% of taxable income
Over $13,600 but not over $51,850 $1,360 plus 15% of excess over $13,600
Over $51,850 but not over $133,850 $7,097.50 plus 25% of the excess over $51,850
Over $133,850 but not over $216,700 $27,597.50 plus 28% of the excess over $133,850
Over $216,700 but not over $424,950 $50,795.50 plus 33% of the excess over $216,700
Over $424,950 but not over $453,350 $119,518 plus 35% of the excess over $424,950
Over $453,350 $129,458 plus 39.6% of the excess over $453,350

Unmaried Individuals (other than Surviving Spouses and Heads of Households:

Taxable Income Taxes
Up to $9,525 10% of taxable income
Over $9,525 but not over $38,700 $952.50 plus 15% of excess over $9,525
Over $38,700 but not over $93,700 $5,328.75 plus 25% of the excess over $38,700
Over $93,700 but not over $195,450 $19,078.75 plus 28% of the excess over $93,700
Over $195,450 but not over $424,950 $47,568.75 plus 33% of the excess over $195,450
Over $424,950 but not over $426,700 $123,303.75 plus 35% of the excess over $424,950
Over $426,700 $123,916.25 plus 39.6% of the excess over $426,700

Married Individuals Filing Separately:

Taxable Income Taxes
Up to $9,525 10% of taxable income
Over $9,525 but not over $38,700 $952.50 plus 15% of excess over $9,525
Over $38,700 but not over $78,075 $5,328.75 plus 25% of the excess over $38,700
Over $78,075 but not over $118,975 $15,172.50 plus 28% of the excess over $78,075
Over $118,975 but not over $212,475 $26,624.50 plus 33% of the excess over $118,975
Over $212,475 but not over $240,025 $57,479.50 plus 35% of the excess over $212,475
Over $240,025 $67,122 plus 39.6% of the excess over $240,025

The most important thing to remember about these numbers is that they could still change if tax reform actually happens. If it doesn’t, however, you can count on the numbers above for 2018.

Standard Deduction

Another slight increase comes in the form of the standard deduction. But again, this isn’t a significant bump.

For 2018, single taxpayers and those who are married but filing separately can take a standard deduction of $6,500 (an increase from last year’s $6,350). Heads of household can take $9,550 (up from $9,350) and married couples filing jointly can take $13,000 (up from $12,700).

If you’re blind or older than 65, you can take an additional standard deduction of $1,300. If you’re unmarried, this additional deduction is $1,600.

This means that you can decrease the amount of income on which you pay taxes by this standard deduction. So, if you made $50,000 last year and are single, the standard deduction will decrease your taxable income down to $43,500.

Personal Exemption

After two years at $4,050, the personal exemption has increased to $4,150 for 2018. And just like the standard deduction above, the personal exemption means that you can earn even more money without owing income taxes on it.

However, the personal exemptions phase out beginning with a certain level of income. This means that if you make too much money, you won’t be able to take the full personal exemption on your earned income. This threshold begins at $266,700 for single filers, $160,000 for married filing separately, $320,000 for married filing jointly, and $293,550 for heads of household.

How to Calculate Your Taxes

While most of us simply plug our W-2 into TurboTax and let the computer do the thinking for us, it’s still important to at least know how tax brackets work.

For the sake of our example, let’s assume that you’re a single filer with an earned income of $110,650, and you don’t have any dependents. Take your income and subtract both your standard deduction and personal exemption, and you’re left with $100,000 in taxable income.

Now, apply your marginal tax rates.

Based on your first $9,525 of income, you’ll own 10% (for a total of $952.50 in taxes). For income dollars $9,526 through $38,700, you’ll owe 15% (for another $4,376.25). Then, for income dollars $38,701 through $93,700, you’ll pay 25% in taxes (adding up to another $13,750). This means that for your first $93,700 in income, you’ll pay a total of $19,078.75 in income taxes.

Now take the income left over ($6,300) and apply the next marginal tax rate of 28%. This will add another $1,764 to your tax bill. That means that for the year, you will pay a total of $20,842.75 in taxes on your total $110,650 earned.

For that level of income, your marginal tax rate ranged from 10% to 28%; however, your effective tax rate comes out to only 20.84% of your taxable income ($100,000). If you count it against your entire earned income ($110,650), though, you’re paying only 18.84% in taxes for the year.

You should also note that investment income can sometimes be taxed separately from, and at a lower interest rate than, earned income.

It’s interesting to look at these newly-released brackets, knowing that there’s a chance for tax reform. This would, of course, change everything shown here. If this happens, we will be sure to update you right away!

Published or updated October 31, 2017.

About the author

Stephanie is the managing editor at shizennougyou, as well as a contributing writer. She graduated from Baylor University with a Biology degree, but has since found a passion for personal finance. She also writes for a number of other sites -- including Dough Roller, Five Cent Nickel, and allCards -- in addition to running her small business, Pink Orchid Press. Stephanie lives in Washington, DC with her two sons and a German Shepherd. View all articles by .

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