2008 Federal Income Tax Brackets: Official IRS Figures

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Here are the Projected 2009 Federal Income Tax Brackets, projected in the same way and by the same people as did the last projection.

Last September a bunch of places started giving previews of the 2008 IRS tax brackets prior to the IRS revealing them, such as Kiplinger’s and the WSJ, and I wanted to compare them to the actual 2008 tables. All in all, it appears that the calculations made by the experts were spot on when compared to the figures revealed by the IRS. It makes sense though because the calculations were based on government released inflation figures. Here are the official IRS tax bracket numbers:

2008 IRS Tax Brackets

Tax Rate Single Married Filing Jointly
10% Not over $8,025 Not over $16,050
15% $8,025 – $32,550 $16,050 – $65,100
25% $32,550 – $78,850 $65,100 – $131,450
28% $78,850 – $164,550 $131,450 – $200,300
33% $164,550 – $357,700 $200,300 – $357,700
35% Over $357,700 Over $357,700

2008 IRS Deduction, Exemption & Limit Changes

Finally, all the 2008 deduction and exemption values were published by the IRS in October, here are the notable increases (or unchanged values):

  • Personal and dependency exemptions increase $100 to $3500 each.
  • Standard deduction for married couples filing jointly increases $200 to $10,900. Singles and married filing separately increases $100 to $5,450. Heads of households get a $150 increase to $8,000.
  • Maximum earned income tax credit (for low/moderate income workers and families with 2+ children) increases from $4716 to $4824. The income limit for this increased to $41,646.
  • The maximum Hope credit increases $150 to $1,800.
  • Roth IRA contribution limit phase outs begin at $101,000 (+$2k) for singles and HoH, $159,000 (+3k) for married.
  • 401(k) and 403(b) contribution limits remain unchanged at $15,500.
  • Annual limit for most defined contribution plans increases to $46,000 from $45,000.
{ 172 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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172 Responses to “2008 Federal Income Tax Brackets: Official IRS Figures”

  1. BB says:

    / \

    Amen, Brotha.

  2. Richard says:

    I would disagree with the comment–

    BeyondtheConsumer responds:
    Posted: January 14th, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    So I guess making $32,551 would be a real bummer.

    That taxable income would indicate maximizing the 15% tax bracket, a strategy that can include converting IRAs to Roth IRAs to bring your income up to the bracket max. Over and over I am working with retirees who lament that they pay at a higher tax bracket than when they earned the money they sheltered in IRAs, 401ks, and other pre-tax, deferred accounts.

    As a corollary to this strategy, I think anyone in the 15% bracket who has access to a Roth 401k should use it rather than the tax-deductible 401k.

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. Adri says:

    What is the most each spouse can make in 2008 to be in the 15% bracket if married and filing jointly? 25% bracket?

  5. Amy says:

    I am in sales and earn a monthly commission added to my paycheck. If it is substantial (over 2K) they ask me if I want to split it. For example my last check will have, after all deductions are made, $3,600 in taxable income. This should still keep me in the 10% tax bracket correct?

    • BURT says:

      You have no income, period, you are not a corporation, for crying outloud, read your Constitution.

  6. samy says:

    i just have question and hope some one can help me
    i all ready get a tax refund but i earned more than 3000 and paid Taxes will i get more money ,?and when ?
    thank you

  7. yourname says:

    i dont understand this.

  8. ANNIE says:

    I would like to know who are we getting the taxes refund money from the
    State or The Federal /regarding the money amount that the President issue.

  9. jim says:

    Annie: It’s Federal.

  10. jenb says:

    Know someone that has gotten the rebate already and there was state taxes taken out on the rebate. Federal may not get us next year but the state will…..there is never something for nothing.

  11. Jeff Knapp says:

    If you fill out your W 4 as all zero’s and claim no one What percent is used to hold out of your pay? Is there a certain percent? I know that I do that and have them hold at higher single rate, which has ALWAYS been 14.888 or 15 percent, however my wife did not hold a single rate just all zero’s and her employer DID NOT HOLD OUT enough which cost us paying in this year? I always thought there was a percentage that MUST be withheld and was advised it should be no less than ten percent? Any answers to this

    • BURT says:

      Hey, do you remember that your W-4 had the option, “EXEMPT” on it, did you mark this? No you did not. Now go back to your employer and ask to redo your w-4 and this time mark “EXEMPT”. Your employer must honor this or you can charge him with theft.

  12. Sherri Ford says:

    You are taxed based on your income however you are limited to $15,500 in 401 contributions no matter what you make? This dollar amount should be tiered in a fashion that taxes are paid. You should be allowed to contribute more to your 401K if you make a higher wage.

  13. NEERAJ SOOD says:

    I filled my return jointy with my wife and a kid.Total income for the year 2007 was less than 20000 $.
    my dependents doesnt have ssn rather they have TIN.
    I didnot recieved any tax rebates at all where as i was hoping to get atleast for me .
    But i havnt been send any dorect deposit/neither any paper cheque.
    Can some body let me know what went wrong that i did not receive any thing at all.

    • BURT says:

      You should not even file any kind of tax return. You are a poor bastard just trying to survive. Your employer should be deducting O from your checks, you do not have to volunteer to pay this illegal taxes.

  14. says:

    I have a QDRO which I am going to take a percentage (may be 100,000) to pay off debt and possibly lower my mortgage payment. What I was wondering is if I have an income of 69000 before taxes, and a deduction of 22,000 per year in college expenses, for two, and I am Head of household, and owe a mortgage of 2800 per month @6.5. What is the maximum amount I can take in a cash, including my income of 6900, and deductions, can I take with out being in the %33 tax bracket?

  15. vlw says:

    I recently took a job making $100,000 and my taxes are $400 dollars a week. That only leaves me with around 1,500 a week. That is really pitiful that I pay more taxes in a week than most people make. What actions should i take to lower that rate. My wife owes on a student loan also so no matter what I put in I won’t get back anything.

    • dude says:

      do you want some cheese to go with that wining

      • hilites says:

        Why is this considered whining? VLW probably went to school, got an education, pays student loans, earned a job and works his butt off. Some others choose not to go to school and sit back and expect a hand-out. Is this what you are going to teach your children? If someone chooses to not better themselves while someone else does, why does the first one get to benefit off of the work of the second? Take pride in what you EARN and put your hands back in your OWN pocket.

    • BURT says:

      There is no Law which requires you to pay any income tax. You are paying this taxes voluntarily. Ask you accountant to show you the Federal Law which requires you to pay Income taxes and Requires you employer to deduct it. Ask your employer. Remember the w-4 form you filled out, did you volunteer then to pay income taxes?

  16. Kappel says:

    vlw: if you’re paying more in taxes per week than “some” people make in a week…why are you complaining about “only” having 1500 per week net?
    BUT….If you insist, max out your 401k/403b 15,500 per year max, (only 10 weeks worth of your pay, have 42 weeks left to spend) and then open a roth IRA, also you should consider opening a 529 educational savings account for yourself, AND your wife…it can be transferred to your children without penalty. Make sure your wifes school loan is being tax deducted….but most likely you make too much money to have it count as a deduction…if thats the case…pay the loan off. FYI: private school loans are NOT forgivable if you file bankruptcy. Cut back on all the toys, purchase some rental or 2nd house,(assuming you have a house already) interest on the second house is tax deductable as well.

  17. raceroch says:


    My income is over 100k a year, i cant invest in such IRA’s as roths. do your research. thats the point, not only do we get taxed a higher percent, but we arent allowed to participate in these tax shielded long term investments. This means you get to pay less while we still have to pay the same amount. Also, think about it, the more taxes are raised, the more pepole with money find ways to avioid paying them, moving accounts out of the US, conducting business outsdie the us. ect. This only lowres the moneys brought in by the governmtn, LOOK AT THE GATES FOUNDATION. use ur brain, grow up, and realize stealing from the rich and giving to the poor still makes you a thief.

    • BURT says:

      “My income is over 100K a year”
      How do you know you have income? What Law says that you as a non corporation have gains?
      Only you and all the other stupid Americans who pay income taxes determined on their own that they have income.

  18. Ann says:

    Jim ~

    My husband has just been offered a salaried position of which he is excited yet somewhat reluctant about. The increase in salary would put us “over the edge,” so to speak, into the 25% tax bracket. His position probably doesn’t have much more room for increased income. We are not currently in a position to owe significantly more tax. In addition, we are quickly loosing our child deduction as they are becoming “independent.” Advice?

    • saladdin says:

      My advice? Look up marginal brackets. You really have no idea how the tax rates work.


  19. Kevin says:

    I am confused on the long term capital gains and how much it would be taxed. I have held the stock about 3 years and was thinking about selling it. My other finanances are like this. I will make about 19,000 this year plus about 1,200 in interest from my savings account. I was wanting to sell my stock and the capital gains would be about 18,000 thousand dollars. I was reading where if u where making less than 32,551 u would be taxed at the lower rate which i have heard would be 0% until 2010. My understanding is this is a new law that will only be good for those years. So my question is if my total income is more than the 32,551 would i be taxed at the higher tax rate or lower tax rate or combination of both. Also that is my gross income and not my taxable income . So how do I figure this.

  20. Sean says:

    Ann – read above. The increase in the tax bracket will ONLY APPLY TO WHAT YOU MAKE OVER THE LOWER LIMIT. Say I made $35,000. $32,550 will be taxed at 15%, the rest (35k – 32550 = $2,450) is taxed at 25%. So the total taxes will be 32550 x 0.15 + 2450 x 0.25 = $5495 or 15.7%.

    vlw – I find it pathetic you’re complaining about having $1,500/week to live on. You do realize how lucky are you are, right? No, of course not.

  21. Scott says:

    Sean – actually, a person making $35,000 would only pay 10% on the first $8025, 15% on the next $24525 and 25% on anything over $32550. The total taxes would be 8025 x 0.10 + 24525 x 0.15 + 2450 x 0.25 = 5093.75 or 14.5%

  22. lee stuckey says:

    i made $27,500 so far this year what is my paid in tax for that amount??

  23. J dog says:

    My husband has made 35.000 this year so far. I am not working. He has been offered a Buyout for 114.000 that he can take a couple of different ways. He will be taking it as he is in a declining business. If we take 40.000 of the buyout this year does this put him with income in the 25% bracket? this is what I had figured and then the other payment of 64.000 in Jan would also get taxed at 25% am I correct in my thinking here I am trying to avoid the 28% tax bracket. And I live in Michigan does anyone know my percent here. Thanks

    • BURT says:

      why dont you ask the IRS, to tell you the Law which makes this buy out Income. Tell them you cannot find the definition of INCOME in the Code. Ask them who determines what is income? After they feed you a bunch of Bull Shit, you will realize that only you can make that determination, and they will not tell you the LAW.

  24. Ryan says:

    The tax code sux. 15% flat with no deductions, that would eliminate the need for almost the entire IRS…yeaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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