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What are the 2023-2024 tax brackets?

10 min read

10 min read

Tax questions often have complex answers, and the question of federal tax brackets is no different. When someone asks about the tax brackets for tax year 2023, they could be referring to a number of different types of rates. Is it the capital gains tax rate, dividend tax rate, marginal tax rate, Medicare tax rate, Social Security tax rate, the withholding tax rate on bonuses (what some people think of as a “bonus tax rate”) you’re looking for?

Not sure which one? Don’t worry! We’ll outline the types of tax rates and the situations when you’ll encounter them in this post.

The basics on federal income tax rates

couple reviewing the federal tax brackets

Federal income tax rates are divided into seven segments (commonly known as income tax brackets). You pay increasing income tax rates as your income rises. If you’re trying to determine your marginal tax rate or your highest federal tax bracket, you’ll need to know two things:

  • Your filing status: The filing status options are to file as Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, or Qualified Surviving Spouse.
  • Your taxable income: Believe it or not, your taxable income doesn’t equal your wages. Rather, it’s the total of your taxable income sources (like wages, investment interest, and retirement distributions) minus any adjustments and tax deductions. Most income is taxed using these seven tax brackets, except for certain capital gains and dividends.

Need help determining this number? Find out how to calculate your taxable income.

Tax brackets 2023 (Taxes due in 2024)

If you’re wondering, “What tax bracket am I in?” The tax bracket-specific income ranges can shift slightly each tax year due to inflation adjustments, so you’ll want to reference the year when you review income tax brackets. Here we outline the 2023 tax brackets and corresponding 2023 tax rates.

For each bracket, the second number is the maximum for that tax rate and the first number in the next bracket is over the highest amount for the previous rate. For instance, the 10% rate for a single filer is up to and including $11,000. The 12% rate starts at $11,001.

Tax Rate Single Filers/
Married Filing Separate (MFS)
Married Individuals Filing Jointly/
Qualifying Surviving Spouses
Heads of Households
10%$0 – $11,000$0 – $22,000$0 – $15,700
12%$11,000 – $44,725$22,000 – $89,450$15,700 – $59,850
22%$44,725 – $95,375$89,450 – $190,750$59,850 – $95,350
24%$95,375 – $182,100$190,750 – $364,200$95,350 – $182,100
32%$182,100 – $231,250$364,200 – $462,500$182,100 – $231,250
35%$231,250 – $578,125 (Single)
$231,250 – $346,875 (MFS)
$462,500 – $693,750$231,250 – $578,100
37%$578,126 or more (Single)
$346,876 or more (MFS)
$693,751 or more$578,101 or more
Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Tax brackets in 2024

It’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s taxes. If tax planning is your thing, you’ll want to know what the 2024 tax brackets look like. In fact, you may be able to tell if you’ll be in a higher tax bracket next year and make some financial moves to take advantage of tax credits and deductions to lower your tax bill.

Tax RateSingle Filers/
Married Filing Separate
Married Individuals Filing Jointly/
Qualifying Surviving Spouses
Heads of Households
10%$0 – $11,600$0 – $23,200$0 – $16,550
12%$11,600 – $47,150$23,200– $94,300$16,550 – $63,100
22%$47,150 – $100,525$94,300– $201,050$63,100– $100,500
24%$100,525– $191,950$201,050– $383,900$100,500– $191,950
32%$191,950– $243,725$383,900– $487,450$191,950– $243,700
35%$243,725– $609,350 (Single)
$243,725 – $365,600 (MFS)
$487,450– $731,200$243,700– $609,350
37%$609,351 or more (Single)
$365,601 or more (MFS)
$731,201 or more$609,351 or more
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Tax brackets in 2022

What happens if you didn’t file your taxes for 2022 yet? The rates are a bit different. Take note.

Tax RateSingle Filers/
Married Filing Separate
Married Individuals Filing Jointly/
Qualifying Surviving Spouse
Heads of Households
10%$0 – $10,275$0 – $20,550$0 – $14,650
12%$10,275 – $41,775$20,550 – $83,550$14,650 – $55,900
22%$41,775 – $89,075$83,550 – $178,150$55,900 – $89,050
24%$89,075 – $170,050$178,150 – $340,100$89,050 – $170,050
32%$170,050 – $215,950$340,100 – $431,900$170,050 – $215,950
35%$215,950 – $539,900 (Single)
$215,950 – $323,925 (MFS)
$431,900 – $647,850$215,950 – $539,900
37%$539,901 or more (Single)
$323,926 or more (MFS)
$647,851 or more$539,901 or more
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Understanding how federal income tax brackets work

The nuances of federal income tax brackets can seem complex on first glance. So, if you’re asking yourself, “how do tax brackets work?”, here’s more detail.

Once you know your filing status and amount of taxable income, you can find your tax bracket. However, you should know that not all your income is taxed at that rate. For example, if you fall in the 22% tax bracket, not all your income is taxed at 22%. Why is that? The reason is that the United States income tax system uses a graduated tax system, designed so that individual taxpayers pay an increasing rate as their income rises as outlined in the tax brackets above.

Let’s look at Sarah, whose filing status is “Single” and who has a taxable income of $50,000 (her total income is $63,850 ($50,000 + $13,850 standard deduction).

Using the 2023 information above, we can determine Sarah’s total tax in the following steps:

  1. Figure out the amount of tax for each segment of taxable income. Sarah will pay:
    • 10% on the first $11,000 of taxable income
    • 12% on the next $33,725 ($44,725-$11,000)
    • 22% on the remaining $5,275 ($50,000-$44,725)
  2. Add the taxable amounts for each segment ($1,100 + $4,047 + $1,160.50) = $6,307.50

For her 2023 tax return, Sarah will pay $6,307.50 in tax. But that’s not the only way to describe Sarah’s taxes. We could also talk about her average tax rate and marginal tax rate.

So, what’s the difference between all these different percentages and rates?  Read on and we’ll explain, continuing to use Sarah as an example.  

Income Tax Rate Terms

The terminology around income tax brackets and tax rates can be confusing at times. To clarify what’s meant, let’s review a few relevant terms that relate to this topic.

  • Income tax rate: The various percentages at which taxes are applied
  • Income tax brackets: The ranges of income to which a tax rate applies (currently there are seven as shown above).
  • Marginal tax rate: The rate at which the last dollar of income is taxed. Sarah’s marginal tax rate is 22%.
  • Effective tax rate: The total tax paid as a percentage of total income taxed.
  • Average tax rate: This is the same as the effective tax rate.  For Sarah, we can think about her average tax rate in two ways. For the $50,000 of taxable income, her tax rate is 12.6%. If we think about the average based on all of her income, it would be 9.9%.

There is another way to think about average tax rate: If you’re looking for the average federal income tax rate that most taxpayers pay, that’s a harder number to pin down as it changes every year.  You can also review average tax rate details in this chart.

In addition to these definitions, it’s helpful to understand that the table above shows ordinary tax rates. However, ordinary tax rates don’t apply to every type of income. For other types of income, they follow a different rate structure than the table above. We’ll outline those next.

Other types of tax rates

Now, let’s get to the other tax rates. There are a few places where you might find these categories, like on your investment or broker statements.

Capital gains tax rates and dividend tax rates

When you receive a quarterly investment statement, it may show that you were paid capital gain distributions and dividends. The statement will also show if you sold stock or mutual funds, which would result in capital gain or loss. To know what dividend or capital gain tax rate applies here, you should also look at the timeframes involved.

  • Long-term capital gains refer to assets sold for a profit that were held for more than one year. The specific rates depend on your taxable income, but it’s not the same as the percentages listed above. Use the table lower in this section to determine your rate.
  • Short-term capital gains refer to assets sold for a profit that were held for one year or less. These gains are taxed just the same as ordinary income, so you can refer to the federal income tax rates above.
  • Qualified dividend income refers to dividend income on assets held for a certain period. For a dividend to be a qualified dividend, you must have held the asset for more than 60 days during the 121-day period starting 60 days before the ex-dividend date. Qualified dividend income is taxed the same rate as long-term capital gains, so it will also follow the rates shown in the table below.
  • Ordinary dividend income refers to income that doesn’t meet the qualified dividend income criteria above. These dividends, just like short-term capital gains, are taxed as ordinary income. Refer back to the federal income tax rates above.
  • Capital gain distributions from mutual funds are generally taxed similarly to qualified dividends.

2023 tax rates: Long-term capital gains (LTCG) and Qualified dividend income (QDI)

Tax Rate
Single Filers
Taxable Income Over…
Married Individuals Filing Jointly*/
Qualified Surviving Spouses,
Taxable Income Over…
For Heads of Households,
Taxable Income Over…
20%$492,300 ($296,900 for MFS)$553,850$523,050
Source: Internal Revenue Service

*Married Filing Separately: Rates for married individuals filing separate returns are one half of the Married Filing Jointly brackets.

Note: Gains on the sale of collectibles (e.g., antiques, works of art and stamps) are taxed at a maximum rate of 28%.

Social Security tax rate and FICA tax rates

When you look at your paycheck, you can see taxes that are taken out of your take-home pay for various reasons. We’ll cover those in this section.

Social Security and Medicare taxes fall under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. When you want to know the FICA tax rate, you should refer to the two categories below.

Currently, the:

  • Social Security tax rate is 6.2%. This is for the employee portion of these taxes. Employers also pay half of these taxes, so you can add another 6.2% to get the total Social Security tax rate of 12.4%.
  • Medicare tax rate is 1.45%. This is for the employee portion of the taxes. Employers also pay half these taxes, so you can add another 1.45% to get the total rate of 2.9%.

There are some limits and exceptions to Social Security and Medicare tax rates. Get the details in our payroll tax article.

Bonus tax rate (bonus tax withholding rate)

The last category of taxes you might see on your paycheck stub is for any bonus or supplemental wages you received. What most people think of the bonus tax rate is actually a percentage of tax withheld from pay in certain circumstances: prizes and awards, certain commissions, overtime pay, back pay, and reported tips.

The bonus tax withholding rate is a flat 22% as long as the amount paid is under $1 million. If it’s over that amount, the bonus tax rate jumps to 37%. Keep in mind, the Social Security portion of the FICA taxes mentioned above will also apply to a portion of your bonus payment. Medicare taxes apply to all wages.

What if the bonus tax withholding rate is higher than your income tax bracket? You’ll be able to account for that on your tax return and possibly receive money back as a refund if too much was withheld.

Tax rates and help filing your return

If you’re looking to understand how various federal tax rates will affect your tax filing outcome, check out H&R Block’s income tax calculator so you can plan ahead.

Knowing your tax bracket is just the beginning. Ready to start filing your return? You don’t have to go it alone. Rely on the expertise of H&R Block to get your maximum refund. Whether you choose to file online or want to file your taxes with a tax professional, we’re here for you.

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