Federal Individual Income Tax Rate Schedules For 2011

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Every year without fail, the IRS releases an updated schedule of income tax rates. The tax rates are broken down by filing status and income level. Since the federal tax rates and income brackets are subject to change, it’s always a good idea to find out what they are before you sit down to do your taxes. Here are the federal income tax rate schedules for 2011.

Filing Status

There are five different filing status choices for individual taxpayers. They are:

  • Single
  • Married Filing Jointly
  • Married Filing Separately
  • Head Of Household
  • Qualifying Widow(er) With A Dependent Child

The filing status that you select on your income tax return will partially determine how much you will have to pay in federal taxes. In some cases, you will not have to pay anything and you will receive a tax refund. (For more information about how to select your IRS filing status, see Determining Your IRS Filing Status On Your Federal Income Tax Return.)

Income Brackets

The second major factor that determines your federal income tax rate is your income. The IRS breaks income into six brackets. For 2011, the income brackets are:

  • Over $0 but below $8,500
  • Over $8,500 but below $34,500
  • Over $34,500 but below $83,600
  • Over $83,600 but below $174,400
  • Over $174,400 but below $379,150
  • Over $379,150

It is important to note that these income brackets apply to normal taxable income that is earned from wages, salaries, tips and other traditional non-investment forms of income. The IRS has special tax rules for income that is earned from investments. (For more information on how the IRS treats investment income, see Understanding The Rules Of The Federal Capital Gains Tax.)

Tax Rate Schedules

Single

If you are unmarried, divorced or legally separated on the last day of the year, then you will generally file your federal tax return under the single status. Certain exceptions may apply. For example, if you qualify for the head of household status, you should generally file under that status. Additionally, if your spouse dies, you may be able to still file your taxes under the married filed jointly status. You might also be able to file under the qualifying widow(er) tax status if you have at least one dependent. Consult a tax advisor or the IRS website if you think that you might qualify for one of these tax statuses.

2011 Tax Rate Schedule For The Single Filing Status

If Your Taxable Income Is Over:

But Under:

Then Your Federal Income Tax Will Be:

$0

$8,500

10% of the amount over $0

$8,500

$34,500

$850 plus 15% of the amount over $8,500

$34,500

$83,600

$4,750 plus 25% of the amount over $34,500

$83,600

$174,400

$17,025 plus 28% of the amount over $83,600

$174,400

$379,150

$42,449 plus 33% of the amount over $174,400

$379,150

no limit

$110,016.50 plus 35% of the amount over $379,150

 

Married Filing Jointly/Qualifying Widow(er)

People who are legally married on the last day of the year are eligible to file a joint tax return. For example, if your wedding took place on December 31, 2011, then you can file a joint tax return for 2011. Conversely, if you wrap up your divorce proceedings on December 31, then you must file as single. Generally, married couples who file jointly enjoy greater tax benefits than people who file single or file as married filing separately.

The qualifying widow(er) status is for taxpayers whose spouse has recently died. To qualify for this tax status, you must meet the following four conditions:

  • Your spouse has died within the past two years
  • You are responsible for over half the costs of keeping up your home
  • You are living with at least one dependent
  • You have not remarried

The IRS uses the same tax rates for the married filing jointly status and the qualifying widow(er) status.

2011 Tax Rate Schedule For The Married Filing Jointly And The Qualifying Widow(er) Statuses

If Your Taxable Income Is Over:

But Under:

Then Your Federal Income Tax Will Be:

$0

$17,000

10% of the amount over $0

$17,000

$69,000

$1,700 plus 15% of the amount over $17,000

$69,000

$139,350

$9,500 plus 25% of the amount over $69,000

$139,350

$212,300

$27,087.50 plus 28% of the amount over $139,350

$212,300

$379,150

$47,513.50 plus 33% of the amount over $212,300

$379,150

no limit

$102,574 plus 35% of the amount over $379,150

 

Married Filing Separately

Most married couples will get the biggest tax benefit from filing jointly. However, there are some situations where it might be advantageous for married people to file separately. If you are married, you should consult a tax adviser before deciding to file separately.

2011 Tax Rate Schedule For The Married Filing Separately Status

If Your Taxable Income Is Over:

But Under:

Then Your Federal Income Tax Will Be:

$0

$8,500

10% of the amount over $0

$8,500

$34,500

$850 plus 15% of the amount over $8,500

$34,500

$69,675

$4,750 plus 25% of the amount over $34,500

$69,675

$106,150

$13,543.75 plus 28% of the amount over $83,600

$106,150

$189,575

$23,756.75 plus 33% of the amount over $106,150

$189,575

no limit

$51,287 plus 35% of the amount over $189,575

 

Head of Household

To qualify for the head of household status you must:

  • Be unmarried
  • Pay more than half of the costs of maintaining a home
  • Live with at least one dependent

Note that if you are married but live apart from your spouse for a portion of the year, you may be considered unmarried for tax purposes. If this occurs, you may be able to file as the head of household. See the IRS website for more information if you think this might apply to you.

2011 Tax Rate Schedule For The Head Of Household Status

If Your Taxable Income Is Over:

But Under:

Then Your Federal Income Tax Will Be:

$0

$12,150

10% of the amount over $0

$12,150

$46,250

$1,215 plus 15% of the amount over $12,150

$46,250

$119,400

$6,300 plus 25% of the amount over $46,250

$119,400

$193,350

$24,617.50 plus 28% of the amount over $119,400

$193,350

$379,150

$45,323.50 plus 33% of the amount over $193,350

$379,150

no limit

$106,637.50 plus 35% of the amount over $379,150

 

Keep in mind that these tax rate schedules are for informational purposes only. The IRS warns that they are meant to find out what your tax rate is based on your income and filing status. They are not meant to calculate your tax burden. To calculate your tax burden, you should consult a tax advisor or use a tax software program.

Sources

Last Updated: February 6, 2012
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About Michael Diaz Michael Diaz is a contributing author for CanDoFinance.com.

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