2019 Federal Income Tax Rates

As the close of the year draws near, taxpayers grow concerned about limiting their tax liability in 2019. By understanding their incremental federal income tax rates, individuals can appreciate the benefit received from a potential deduction.

2019 Income Tax Rate Schedules

Income tax rate tables, or brackets, are published each year by the federal government through the Internal Revenue Service or IRS. These tables outline the tax owed and incremental tax rates.  These schedules can also be used to estimate a potential income tax liability in 2019.  However, more accurate estimates can be achieved by completing Form 1040.

Information on the 2018 schedules can be found in our article:  Tax Brackets, while our Tax Rate Calculator can be used to estimate federal income taxes owed for the years 2015 through 2019.

Reading a Tax Rate Schedule

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 added a seventh bracket (39.6%) in 2013.  The remaining six rates were unchanged.  Starting in 2018, there remains seven tax brackets, with the new values of 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%. Reading a tax rate schedule is a fairly simple process.

The first step is to calculate an individual's total federal taxable income.  Again, IRS Form 1040 can help individuals determine that value more accurately.  Once the taxable income is known, the next step involves selecting the proper rate table.

There are four schedules, depending on the individual's filing status such as Single or Married, Filing Jointly.  The instructions for Form 1040 explain the process for selecting the correct status.  The tables that follow provide the 2017 income tax brackets.

2019 Unmarried Individuals: Rate Schedule X

Taxable income is over - But not over - The tax is: Of the amount over -
$0 $9,700 $0 + 10% $0
9,700 39,475 970.00 + 12% 9,700
39,475 84,200 4,543.00 + 22% 39,475
84,200 160,725 14,382.50 + 24% 84,200
160,725 204,100 32,748.50 + 32% 160,725
204,100 510,300 46,628.50 + 35% 204,100
510,300 - 153,798.50 + 37% 510,300

2019 Married Individuals Filing Joint Returns or Surviving Spouses: Rate Schedule Y-1

Taxable income is over - But not over - The tax is: Of the amount over -
$0 $19,400 $0 + 10% $0
19,400 78,950 1,940.00 + 12% 19,400
78,950 168,400 9,086.00 + 22% 78,950
168,400 321,450 28,765.00 + 24% 168,400
321,450 408,200 65,497.00 + 32% 321,450
408,200 612,350 93,257.00 + 35% 408,200
612,350  - 164,709.50+ 37% 612,350

2019 Married Filing Separately: Rate Schedule Y-2

Taxable income is over - But not over - The tax is: Of the amount over -
$0 $9,700 $0 + 10% $0
9,700 39,475 970.00 + 12% 9,700
39,475 84,200 4,543.00 + 22% 39,475
84,200 160,725 14,382.50 + 24% 84,200
160,725 204,100 32,748.50 + 32% 160,725
204,100 306,175 46,628.50 + 35% 204,100
306,175  - 82,354.75 + 37% 306,175

2019 Head of Household: Rate Schedule Z

Taxable income is over - But not over - The tax is: Of the amount over -
$0 $13,850 $0 + 10% $0
13,850 52,850 1,385.00 + 12% 13,850
52,850 84,200 6,065.00 + 22% 52,850
84,200 160,700 12,962.00 + 24% 84,200
160,700 204,100 31,322.00 + 32% 160,700
204,100 510,300 45,210.00 + 35% 204,100
510,300 - 152,380.00 + 37% 510,300

Tax Rate Example Calculation

We're going to run through a quick example to illustrate how the above tables are used to determine a taxpayer's incremental tax bracket in 2019.  In this example, let's say that Bill's filing status is Married Filing Jointly.  That means he will be using Schedule Y-1 above.  If Bill's federally taxable income in 2019 is $100,000, then the tax owed is calculated as follows:

Bill is going to use the fourth row of the Y-1 schedule because his income falls between $78,950 and $168,400. That puts Bill in the 22% tax bracket. Calculating the tax liability from that table:

  • $9,086.00 + 22% x ($100,000 - $78,950)
  • $9,086.00 + 0.22 x $21,050
  • $9,086.00 + $4,631.00 = $13,717.00

Marginal Tax Rates

Anyone that understands how to use these tables also understands why they are referred to as marginal tax rates.  Within each rate schedule it's possible to find the taxpayer's incremental tax rate, or marginal rate of tax.  This is the rate at which each incremental dollar earned is taxed.  In the above example, the marginal tax rate was 22%.
 
One of the more common misconceptions is that if someone earns more money, then all of the income is taxed at the higher rate.  The above tables demonstrate this is simply not true.  Individuals are taxed at an incremental rate on marginal income.  That means an individual might be taking home less pay for each additional hour worked, but they are certainly bringing home more money.


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