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2012 Tax Rates and 2013 Federal Income Tax Tables

What will the 2013 tax rates and 2013 tax brackets look like? The Tax Policy center released the parameters based on the current 2013 budget proposal.

Update: A new bill will extend tax cuts for most people. The 2013 income tax brackets will keep the 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35% tax brackets in place from last year. A 39.6% tax bracket will kick in for individuals over $400,000 and married filing joint at $450,000. Stay tuned for new tax brackets as additional details from the Fiscal Cliff Deal in process are released and signed into law.

Based on the original proposal and various updates from the details in the fiscal cliff deal, here’s what the federal tax tables for 2013 could look like.

2013 Tax Rates & Tax Brackets

Tax RateSingleMarried Filing Joint
10%Up to $8,950Up to $17,900
15%$8,951 – $36,250$17,901 – $72,500
25%$36,251 – $87,850$72,501 – $146,400
28%$87,851 – $183,250$146,401 – $223,050
33%$183,251 – $398,350$223,051 – $398,350
35%$398,351 – $400,000$398,351 – $450,000
39.6%Over $400,000Over $450,000

Married Filing Separate was not included in the release, but would be half the amounts for joint filers. I’ll update the 2013 federal tax tables for all filing statuses as soon as the information is available.

2013 Tax Rates vs 2012 Tax Rates

Want to compare the proposed 2013 tax brackets to the current year to see the changes?

The biggest change in the proposal is replacing the 35% bracket with 36% and 39.6% brackets. This will happen based on current law if any changes aren’t made to extend the previous tax cuts. In addition, there is a proposal to raise the 33% tax bracket to 36% for taxpayers with AGI over $200,000 for single and $250,000 for married couples.

Here are the 2012 tax rates for comparison.

2012 Tax Rates & Tax Brackets

Tax RateSingleMarried Filing JointMarried Filing SeparateHead of Household
10%Up to $8,700Up to $17,400Up to $8,700Up to $12,400
15%$8,701 – $35,350$17,401 – $70,700$8,701 – $35,350$12,401 – $47,350
25%$35,351 – $85,650$70,701 – $142,700$35,351 – $71,350$47,351 – $122,300
28%$85,651 – $178,650$142,701 – $217,450$71,351 – $108,725$122,301 – $198,050
33%$178,651 – $388,350$217,451 – $388,350$108,726 – $194,175$198,051 – $388,350
35%Over $388,350Over $388,350Over $194,175Over $388,350

More on Tax Brackets

The tax bracket you fall in is a marginal tax rate and it doesn’t apply to all of your income. For more information, see How Do Tax Brackets Work?

In addition to the tax brackets and 2012 federal tax tables above, you may owe tax under the alternative minimum tax. You can review the 2012 AMT exemption to see if it will apply to you.

The finalized 2012 tax rates and 2012 tax brackets are based on the following tax extensions:

2012 Tax Calculator

To figure out what your taxes currently look like, you can use the Tax Calculator. We’ll publish an updated 2013 tax calculator as soon as the tax rates are finalized.

We’ll have more in a future article on what will happen in 2013 if the Bush tax cuts aren’t extended again.

Get your biggest tax refund, guaranteed. Plus FREE Expert Tax Advice. File your Federal tax return for FREE today with TurboTax!

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Comments to What Will the 2013 Tax Rates Look Like?

  1. Are these tax brackets for Fed and State???


    • @ Sandy: Federal only. State tax brackets vary by state.


  2. Thanks Madison,

    So I guess I should save more $ to cover the state as well, huh??

    Have a question for ya. I am a single and on W2. My deduction is 2 on W4. But I always owe money to Fed and the state. It bothers h*** out of me b/ a lot of people get a refund but i don’t. I thought standard # of deduction for a single is 2!!! I know I can always contribute more $ or lower the # of deductions, but if i am following everything what I supposed to but still owe money to uncle Sam worries me…. Is it normal????


    • Sandy,

      As a single person, the only deduction you can claim is yourself (1). If you claim 2, the amount of money held from your paycheck is less than what you owe, resulting in your payment to the government come tax time. If you want to break even, claim 1 exemption on your W4. If you want a refund, claim 0 exemptions.


      • Nate that is incorrect. Please check you facts before posting this like this. Sandy, you need to buy a tax book and start reading. Go to the IRS website, they have a calculator that you can use to figure this out.


      • Nate is telling the truth. If you follow the worksheet like they ask you to you will end up paying money to the government. Two exemptions is like saying that you have two mouths to feed yourself and one other person. Filing one exemption means that you will have one mouth to feed (yourself). Filing zero means that you are asking that your employer take out more than the designated amount to make sure that you do not owe taxes. You are not always guaranteed a refund but most of the time you will not owe.


      • Bryan (not Brian) is correct. If you follow the worksheet, you’re allowed to claim one for yourself, and claim one if you only work one job. That allows Sandy to claim two. Assuming she’s not working a second job, she should be allowed to claim 2.

        I also claim two, and I’m single and have one job. I owed $7 to the feds and got $52 back from state (VA). Whatever, I’m fine with that.


      • You can cliam head of house Hold and one dependent and that will defintily help your claim or you can claim single and your one or two dependent’s and get back a nice return. But make sure that when you claim it is by goverment regulation’s and rules. Don’t try to claim your friends children you will get pentalie’s.


    • Sandy,
      Think of the number of exemptions you claim as your pre-claiming deductions on your return. However this only takes into account the average for your tax bracket and if you are only claiming the standard deduction and not itemizing, don’t have a mortgage or student loans you might have less than the average number of deductions.
      I am not an accountant but I would only claim 1 on your W4. Never compare what someone else gets as a refund. People who frequently get a high refund may also be claiming deductions they are not entitled to (or are exaggerating) and put themselves at risk if they are audited. Sounds to me like you need some more deductions or a better accountant.


      • Ronnie, you seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth. One is right and the other is wrong. Both ccan’t be right.


  3. These old tax system is better that the new one. People earning roughly 38-150 thousand will get a tax cut. The people below 40 with a family will still get their taxes cuts from the children and people who make over 150 thousand would see an increase in taxes. How this is calculated if you make 70 thousand or less on the old system you pay 15%. On the table you have you start paying 25% at 34 thousand which makes your actual tax rate higher than 15 percent once you reach 38400 per year. Not to mention the tax cut on capital gains and dividends which only affected the rich. Let the old system come back.


    • Capital gains and dividends taxes affect everyone who has any money invested in anything, be it stocks, metals, even a house. The government uses a shell game to make everyone think, “it’s the other guy.” They are bleeding us dry.


    • So basically you object to this because most people will see a (slight) cut in taxes, while those making more than $150K will see a (slight) increase? I think those making over $150K can deal with it, quite frankly. And if they don’t like these rates, why don’t we bring back Reagan-era marginal tax rates (around 50% for top earners)? Someone has to pay for those bailouts.


      • The problem is it would take Kennedy era tax rates,remember that was close to a 90% top tax rate, to actually make a dent in the debt.


  4. Nate & Btian are incorrect. Bryan is correct. I work for the IRS – currently on your W4 if you are single and have only 1 job, you are entitled to claim 2 exemption. On your tax return you only claim yourself but that does not mean you will necessarily owe. You may be entitled to even claim more if you itemize! Currently the tax rates are lower and even at a $50K salary level claiming 2 on the W-4 (all year) can still give you a small refund or make you break even! Again, use the withholding calculator on
    to ascertain the correct amount of exemptions to claim.


  5. I claimed 2 last year and still got a very small refund. Depends on what bracket you are in.


  6. Hi this is going to be our first year filing but I have a few questions. 1) I am 21 and my boyfriend is 23 and we had a baby this year and he is claiming her, but we are living at my parents house, will this have an effect on our return and would he file as head of household or not? I am just really confused when it comes to taxes and I want to be able to get as much back as possible


  7. Where would I find info on earned income credit?

    Chris Thompson

  8. I have the following income:

    1. Social Security
    2. Pension
    3. Unemployment

    If these come to over $34,501 do I pay 25% tax on all these?

    Donna Holloway

    • Donna,
      Firstly you must determine if your social security income is taxable and to what extent. If you are single and your total income (incl SS) is between $31,948 and $40,948 – then 50% of your SS is taxable. Add that 50% to your pension & unemployment income and any other income i.e. interest and that is your total gross income. Then you get to deduct your exemptions, etc. The bottom figure will be what determines your tax bracket. Offhand I would think you would be in the 15% bracket max.


  9. I have 2 questions. First, my employer recently began deducting an additional $100 from my bi-weekly paycheck for Federal Income taxes, and told me that this was because of the new tax deal that went into effect Jan 1. I have not had a status change or pay raise since last year (actually 3 years) and my W4 form remained the same this year (married but withholding at single higher rate and claiming “0″ deductions). Everything that I’ve read indicates that tax rates should be the same this year as last (and I checked to make sure that I’m still in the same tax bracket), so why is my employer claiming that this $100 extra is being removed b/c of the new tax law? Also, as I’ve stated, I always claim “0″ and single, so why do I repeatedly have to pay money out for my annual income tax return? Are either of these issues the result of something that my employer has done incorrectly?

    Lynn McClure

    • Hi Lynn,

      Here’s a helpful graph that illustrates what happened in the 2011 Payroll Tax Cut: What Your Paycheck Will Look Like.

      You’ll see in the second graph how paychecks changed based on your income.

      If you owe money each year and want to have more money withheld, you can claim 0 and have extra money withheld. The reason you owe is probably not the result of something your employer is doing because all of the withholding that your employer is doing on your behalf will show up on your W2.

      I hope that helps!


  10. All of the comments and disagreement prove one thing. That our tax system is too complicated for even the officials and “so-called” long term “expert” employees of the IRS to know, at the tip of their fingers, what’s right and what’s not.
    Such a over-complex system is tailor made to create the need for entire industries that cater to all this confusion and sense of fear.
    If no taxpayer and no tax official is sure exactly what the law IS, it’s best to “have a friend” at the IRS, or GOP, or Democratic Party, or at an expensive tax attorney/CPA, who will run interference for you and whose names instill fear in IRS examiners. They are the “hired guns” of the business.
    THAT is why everyone is PO’d at rich folks; for having expensive help that aids them in getting away with paying less than otherwise and thus making it imperative that less rich people pay more!

    sigusmunt Kreusz

    • ^ Couldnt agree more! Us regular folks have to spend weeks educating ourselves on tax and investing (which scares many from educating themselves financially in the first place), while those with the extra resources will have sound and good advice readily avaliable!


  11. I’m a bit confused (bet you get a lot of that). I’m assuming these tax tables are for taxable income, right? Which means if I can earn $87,900 before crossing over into the 25% bracket. That would be $69,000 plus my standard deduction of $11,600 (Married filing joint) plus my 2 Exemptions ($7,300 last year) Is this correct? Or is there something I’m missing?

    Jack Wells

    • Hi Jack,

      You are correct, the tax tables are for taxable income. In addition to adding on your standard deduction and your exemptions to come up with the maximum before crossing over into the next tax bracket, you can also add on other pretax items (like 401k contributions and health care premiums) and other deductions that appear on the front page of the 1040 (like IRA deductions, student loan interest, tuition and fees, etc.)

      Also, don’t forget that only the amount that crosses over will be taxed at the higher tax rate, not your entire income.


  12. Ok, forgive me for my ignorance on this one. My goal is to adjust my withholding in 2012 so that we don’t get a refund (but we don’t wanna owe either). We are not looking for extra pocket money, we are looking to offset the raise we are planning to contribute to our 401Ks. So according to the chart we fall in the 25% line. So at 90K we should be paying 22.5K in taxes by the end of the year? Is this right?


    • You will be paying much less than that because of deductions either standard or itemized depending on your situation. You only have to pay the tax bracket percent on the next incremental dollar earned above all of your deductions for the bracket you are in. For example, if you got a pay raise of $1000 dollars THEN you would probably owe an additional $250, but if you earned $100,000 total you would find that your TOTAL would most likely be more like $10-$15 thousand instead of $25,000.


  13. I have a kid in another country, but not married to the mom. I send money every month to them for 9 years now, including private school tuition. I have an 80 year old mom living with me, I pay a lady $3200 a month to take care of her at home. IRS won’t let me deduct the cost to support my kid, won’t let me use my mom as a dependent (she gets $900 SS) and won’t let me claim head of household to get a measly $100 bucks back. This country is so messed up.


    • Child support is unfortunately not a deduction from what i have been told.
      You could claim your mother if you support more then 50% of her care and she makes a very small amount. 900.00 is still quite a bit to the feds.


  14. a family member filed me as a dependant on their income tax filing, how can i find out?


  15. At least one positive from the 2012 tax brackets is that most of us will get a tax cut, thanks to the increase in tax bracket ranges. A little good in these tough financial times.


  16. my wife and i live together for five years i got my greencard and i got a job but my wife made more money than me and i didnt know about taxes so she use a taxes id number with my name to file taxes in 2005 2006 and i didnt work that long to be oweing the irs money i only made eleven thousand dollars last year and they take taxes out i suppose to be getting a refund back if the irs dont take it this is very hard on a person you trying get your money and you didnt make any money at all and the irs is always taking your hard earn money people who rich who owe irs they dont take there money but poor people they take there little bit of money from them its very sad it makes you wonder why work

    darren m smith

  17. I start with an electronic copy of the prior year’s calculations using tax-preparation software. (You did keep one, didn’t you?) I then change input data as appropriate (e.g., income, deductible expenses) and incorporate any changes in tax law I know about (e.g., the elimination of a credit). Next, I add 10% to this estimate, to minimize the chances of any under-withholding. Finally, I use this amount for my W-4 by taking the maximum number of exemptions I can without exceeding my estimate and then specifying enough additional withholding to make up the difference. I do this again in summer and fall, and once more when I receive the new software for that tax year (usually in November). Each time I get a more accurate estimate of my tax liability. When I finally file my actual tax return, there are no surprises.


  18. I am so confused…. when filing out federal and state forms for a new job I am so confused about what to claim. The way we figurd our federal would be 7 exemptions… I dont wanna owe at the end of the year . This crap is so confusing and they do it that way on purpose. Plain simple english would be nice!!

    Jennifer Craig

  19. I thought that the 10% tax bracket would go to 15% in 2013. That is an increase of $875 for a couple making a taxable income of $17,500. That is a big increase for a small income.

    William Partridge

  20. We have too much taxes for both state and federal. We spend too much on military actions and their private contractors. If we downsized our global military actions we could afford to pay for healthcare and college through taxes, at a three tiered flat rate with no exemptions….10% for the first 50,000; 15% for 51,000-250,000; and 20% for the rest would cover our infrastructure, military, services, college, and healthcare, and the other services govnt provides.
    Just don’t allow exemptions and make it automatic so almost nobody has to file…its already taxed every check…..simple and easy. Only business owners should submit paperwork. Beaurocracy is corruption.


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