2010 Federal Income Tax Brackets (IRS Tax Rates)

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Every year about this time, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases inflation data, specifically the CPI-U, experts from a variety of magazines and newspapers try to predict what the tax brackets will be the following year. This is possible because many figures in the tax laws are based on inflation, such as the standard deduction, contribution limits for Traditional and Roth IRAs, and the size and placing of the tax brackets themselves.

This year, the Tax Foundation is first out the gate with their prediction that everything will essentially remain the same as inflation was a mere 0.19%. When they performed this exercise in predicting the 2009 federal income tax brackets, they were 100% correct. I’m fairly confident that these numbers will be accurate when the IRS officially announces the tax brackets for 2010.

2010 IRS Tax Brackets

The below 2010 tax tables are the projected federal income tax brackets for 2010:

Tax Bracket Single Married Filing Jointly
10% Bracket $0 – $8,375 $0 – $16,750
15% Bracket $8,375 – $34,000 $16,750 – $68,000
25% Bracket $34,000 – $82,400 $68,000 – $137,300
28% Bracket $82,400 – $171,850 $137,300 – $209,250
33% Bracket $171,850 – $373,650 $209,250 – $373,650
35% Bracket $373,650+ $373,650+

Here are some other important non-tax bracket-related updates (until these are made official by the IRS, these are merely predictions by the experts). As expected, no (or very small) changes:

  • Standard deduction remains the same: The standard deduction for singles will remain at $5,700. For married filing jointly, the number will also remain at $11,400. If you are a Head of Household, it’s expected to increase by $50 to $8,400.
  • Personal exemption remains the same: The personal exemption will remain at $3,650.
  • Annual gift tax exclusion unchanged: For 2010, the current 2009 gift tax exclusion of $13,000 is expected to remain the same. The gift tax is how much you can give to someone else without any tax considerations.

For comparison, here are the 2009 Federal Income Tax Brackets and the 2008 Federal Income Tax Brackets.

{ 412 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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412 Responses to “2010 Federal Income Tax Brackets (IRS Tax Rates)”

  1. henry says:

    I am married with two children a 3 and a 1 year old. wife earned around 54k and I made around 13k this year, paid for child care. how much should I be expecting in return? from nyc

  2. Neil says:

    While in Finland a few years ago I was chatting with our tour bus driver. He related that he had a 4 yr. degree but he liked driving the bus. Besides unless you are a rocket scientist everyone makes (after taxes) about the same amount of money.

    Be careful what you wish for!!!!

  3. CJ says:

    People should be taxed at the same rate no matter how much they make(and no I’m not loaded I’m in the 25%)they shouldnt be taxed higher for being successful. Also its called a tax refund I am sick of seeing people getting free money when the rest of us are out there working everyday. Ive seen many people pay little or nothing at all during the year because of there income or how many kids they have and yet recieve a huge check(even seen someone get almost $10,000 with only $200 taken during the year)which BTW is not added to there yearly income. A refund is what you overpaid, not free money, you cant go into a store and get a refund on something you didnt pay for. Furthermore I think welfare is needed for honest people who need help, but it shouldnt be free money. People should be required to provide 20 0r 30 hours a week for there money. Think of how much money the gvt would save if they didnt have to hire people take care of parks, office cleanup, etc. stuff that anyone can do. I bet there would be alot of people who would leave or be thrown off the system if they did that. Honest working people would do the work untill they found a job. And for the people who would say “well I dont have a sitter” Im sure it would be cheaper for the gvt to provide daycare, besides they would need a sitter when they found a job (if they were looking). Truth is many of them dont want a job they just want the free money and for some welfare is generations into there family.It pains me to see someone who truly needs the “temporary” help because of job loss or a uncontrolable situation be denied, and yet you have welfare lifer’s riding around in there new flashy vehicles and clothes moching off the system and our money

  4. Matt says:

    Our tax system is not at all fair. And the more you make, the worse it gets. Here is a perfect factual example. I have a wife and four kids. We made a total of $228,000 in 2009. Our federal tax bill for 2009 was $39k. My friend and his wife have two kids. They made a total of $82k in 2009. Their tax bill for 2009 was $5K. See the problem yet?
    Using round numbers, we made about three times as much as our friends, yet we paid about eight times the amount of tax as they did. Nobody is asking for sympathy for those families with high incomes. We are just asking for it to be fair.

    • Mike says:

      Don’t try to have all your kids at the same time. That will screw you over. Space it out and you might be able to have the older ones help you out with baby sitting and part time jobs.

      • Strebkr says:

        @Mike – I don’t think he is worried about having to pay his tax bill. I think he is just making a point that he pays more then his fair share.

    • Paul says:

      Matt – so, you earn $228k and pay 17% taxes on that? Not too bad – that’s hardly backbreaking. You forget to note that your buddy pays $5125 in Social Security tax and you paid SS tax only on about $107k of income – at which point you stopped paying SS tax. Call me crazy, but I think it would be a little more “fair” if you paid Social Security on all your income.

      There are a variety of reasons for a progressive tax system. Teddy Roosevelt thought that those who were the winners in life, ie- those most invested in the status quo, could contribute a little more to its maintenance. Another way to look at it is that after a certain point, you aren’t really paying for food or shelter, only for the “better” things. Your pal making $82k has some nice things, but you have a lot more. Taking a few thousand from him could actually make him pinch pennies on something close to a “necessity” (certainly a 1% hit on someone making $40k would). A 1% hit on you has a much smaller marginal impact, even if it is $2500 v. $400.

  5. laura says:

    I have no problem paying my share of taxes. What drives me nuts is when people make like 12k a year working part time and then have like 5 kids and get more money back in taxes then they even made. I think thats crap. I dont understand why I am punished for going to college and actually making money. People should have to be able to afford their kids before having any!!

  6. Mike says:

    Some of you who complain will never make that much money to worry about the tax increase. The reason republicans win elections is because they play off dumb redneck hillbilies telling them things like they will take your guns and there will be gay people touching your kids as they eat lunch. First of all I’m fine with paying more taxes and I do make enough to be in the higher tax brackets. I hardly work hard. I worked harder when I made less working three jobs right around 80 – 100 hours everyweek. Crazy people like Glen Beck and Sarah Palin feed off your stupidity. If what they say makes sense to you, you just might be dumb as well. We are supposed to be in a crazy recessesion yet the number of billionaires jumps up again right around 300 more. (Forbes) SO I ask why did they make labor cuts, probably not because of taxes, probably so they could line their pockets and pillows. And for those of you who bad mouth The Honorable President Obama and consider his ideas socialist. Remember some people consider badmouthing a sitting president treason, so you can sit there and be hypocritical about his ideas but he came into this economy, it didn’t happen under his watch. Some idiot before him jacked it up for eight years and you think he is supposed to fix the American Empire in one. Your ignorant. Get a job.

    • TabloidIsNotNews says:

      Yah ur right, Mike, Obama did inherit a horrible situation… And then he and his administration proceeded to make it worse. No one is saying he made the problem. But damn, in that one year, I’ve seen nothing that is any different. so far I just see similar playbooks compared to the Bush admin. But hey, it’s my opinion.

      I find your method of explaining your argument weak and insulting. Simply put, just because people don’t share the same opinions, same priorities, or the same butt-love for Obama doesn’t mean they’re dumber or stupid or evil or inconsiderate or uncaring or any other negative insult u can think of. U give your opinion of dislike for others (Beck, Palin) because u don’t agree with their stance, yet u insult others who don’t agree with Obama’s. You insult others for having just as strong a belief as you do. Why? Because they are not the same as your opinions? Also, is it ignorance or stupidity that had u using “hypocrite” incorrectly? Hypocrisy is like pretending to be something ur not or pretending to believe in something u don’t. And to be a hypocrite is to ACT in contradiction to what you say or feel.

      And maybe some won’t make as much to worry about the tax increase in higher brackets, but my bosses do, and so does every other job-providing individual/company/corporation. And if those taxes affect how they’re going to run their company, then it damn sure is going to affect the non-richies they employ, especially if they decide they can’t afford to employ them, or even continue to run their business in this country. So actually, it affects more than just higher income earners. It affects us all! 

  7. Ryan says:

    Its such a laugh that so many people think that those who make $375k+ work “harder” than those who make $30k. In reality, it is precisely the opposite. Many of these low income earners work two jobs, or long hours being paid at minimum wage. Oftentimes the executives making the “big bucks” work regular hours. Even if they do work longer hours, it is usually dressed in a suit in a nice comfy office. Those who complain are completely oblivious to the fact that the social class you are born into and opportunities you receive as a result have a HUGE impact on your future earnings. These people need to face reality…Not everyone was born into the opportunities you had.

    • Strebkr says:

      @RYAN – I think you are assuming these execuatives just start right out of high school making this much money. HA thats a joke. I have no problem with people making 375 a year. They go to school, often times to grad school. They start at the bottom levels of a company and they work hard. People work very hard and other people notice. Its those people who work hard that get promoted. With the promotion comes more risk and reward.

      I do realize that being born into a certain class can influence you, but I’ve seen people break out of their so called class and be successful.

      Other times I see marginal effort and lots of excuses.

    • TabloidIsNotNews says:

      Wait!!! “Many” of these $30k earners are double-employed minimum wage earners?? Where’d u get that? Research? U conduct a census? Your argument is just as flimsy as the issue ur discrediting. U first poke at those for assuming who the “hard worker” really is. Then u proceed to assume yourself that $30k are mainly double-employed min wage earners, and $375k arent hard workers. your reasoning is so flawed, especially because u yourself make assumptions, such as earners over $375k are (insinuated) non-hardworking. But what of the ones who do work hard at that income level? And don’t forget $375k earners include businesses (why are u assuming that only individuals are Earners at that level?) y’know, the people who provide jobs and pay so much to keep people employed. Sure we could say tax them up to 40% of their income. Doesn’t matter; they make too much anyway… Yah, and what if that person was someone’s employer, a town’s largest employing business, or – worse, your own boss? And they decide that with the higher taxes topped with the new law that u have to provide health insurance, topped with all the usual employment fees they also pay into (work comp, unemployment, fees , etc), they can no longer afford to keep all employees, so they cut jobs – or worse, they decide to move their business elsewher and evryone is laid off – your minimum wage earners won’t have to pay income tax ’cause they won’t have an income without a job.

      • Veritas says:

        Hey, have you ever tried going to a crazy thing called “college” and taken a class called “sociology?” Mike is right. Republicans play off of the dumb redneck hillbillies. Unfortunately, the USA seems to be full of them. Guns and God, hey?
        Guess what? Statistically, those born into a lower socioeconomic (I know that’s a pretty big word, but I’m sure you can Google it) class have a much lower success rate when it comes to making heaps of money. The American Dream is dead, kids. Hard work and determination helps, but it’s no guarantee of anything. Republicans have you poor people talked into being nice to the rich people because hey, you might be there someday and wouldn’t that be awful if one day you got rich and then you had to pay a lot of taxes? Absolutely catastrophic.

        The truth is, that’s probably not going to happen.

        • Braves says:

          Veritas – and what do the democrats play off of? Illegal aliens, uneducated people. You seem like one of those democrats that does nothing more than suck off the teat. Here’s advice – get a job don’t settle for working at McDonalds or being a janitor – if your fine with that then that’s your choice don’t punish people for being succesful.

  8. Giovanni says:’s funny to see the people of the “great” nation arguing against each other. When things were great and everyone was making money, capitalism was great…now, not so much. Capitalism wouldn’t have saved those stupid banks nor give people extended benefits after they lost their jobs. That’s socialism but I don’t hear anyone without a job complaing about receiving socialist aid. Frankly, I think you need a stronger government (with transparency, of course)…please take a look at your infrastructure. It’s starting to look like third world country (for those of you have traveled, you know what I am talking about)…roads, bridges, trains, even airports. You all agree that it needs to be improved but don’t take it out of my paycheck, right? lol…kill those terrorists with 250,000 soldiers in Iraq and Afganistan but don’t take it out of my paycheck, right?!…Poor Obama..I would not like to have his job..whatever he does, half of the population will hate him…although, people don’t realize that he does not have much power as world’s big corporations do…It’s sad to see you go against each other…people in the rest of the world used to look up to you…not any more.

    • Mike says:

      I agree with some of what you say. I hate both parties. I believe that the US government is way too large an entity and should be smaller. They should only be responsible for things like federal/state infrastructure and national defense. The bailouts that have come from both parties are not examples of capitalism. AIG, GM, the financials, should not have been bailed out. Sound companies would have replaced them eventually and life would’ve continued.

      As much as I hate where this country is going, I believe that the rest of the world isn’t much better.

      Europe is a mess.The less said about their socioeconomic troubles, the better.

      China is great, if you live in the cities that is. (Sorry farmers, but the government needs your lands for the good of the people. Rights? what rights? Here’s a bus, get on it so we can relocate you.)

  9. sam says:

    Do you mind me asking a question. Would be helpful sometimes to fall bellow a cetain bracket to save on taxes. For instance if my salaryi s 370K i have to pay 40000$ plus 33%
    but if my salary is 373K i have to pay 100000$ plus 35%. My emplyer offered me a 400000$ but I will counter offer him 370K so i can safe 50,000$ on taxes. Am I correct?

    • Mike says:

      I suggest you read up on how tax rates work or pay someone to do so. I’m pretty sure it’s always a good idea to grab the higher salary since you don’t get taxed the highest rate on all of your salary.

    • Paul says:

      No, you’re someone who shouldn’t be earning six figures. Go figure out the meaning of “marginal tax rate.”

      It means that the higher rate only applies to income above a certain level. Example – you pay 10% on the first $10k you earn ($1000). Then you pay 20% on the next $10k ($2000). You’ve paid a total of $3000 on $20k (15%). It just means that if you earn an additional dollar, it takes you home 80 cents instead of 90 cents. You are still 80 cents ahead. There really aren’t a lot of circumstances for most American wage earners (assuming constant tax rates) where earning more means you earn less.

  10. econguy says:

    The taxation system in this country is bullsh*t, and for several reasons. When you factor in opportunity cost of money, the government takes even more than the stated percentage; If you are due to pay taxes once a year, but money for the following year is withheld from your paycheck starting on the first day of that taxable year, you could have earned interest on the money being withheld all the way up until it is actually tax time (same is true for each subsequent withholding).
    In addition, removing complaint about the actual taxation rates, if someone makes $373,600 of taxable income, they pay $123,288 (33%) leaving them with $250,312, but someone who makes $373,700 of taxable income pays $130,795 (35%) leaving them with $242,905. I used the above numbers to illustrate an example of the case that exists between every two consecutive tax brackets.
    Furthermore, I am a firm believer that higher income earners should not be forced to forfit a higher percentage of their income to taxes; solely by virtue of making more money, paying the same percentages would imply paying more money in taxes. In conclusion the system in horribly broken, and needs a serious overhaul.

    • Paul says:

      “Econguy” – You have no understanding of marginal tax rates. In the real world:

      $373,650 pays about $101,336 in taxes (27.1%) based on the marginal rates.

      $373,750 pays about $101,371 in taxes (27.1%). Only the last $100 is taxed at 35%.

      • sam says:

        I wwill remember marginal tax rate when i do my taxes. I will look for it. I really do not understand marginal tax rate. I have to read more. I know there are brackts but not marginal tax rates.

  11. John says:

    Definition of stealing- to take something that belongs to someone else, without the owner’s permission or by force

    Definition of taxing- taking money from people by using force.

    Taxing = Stealing

    • william says:

      I have never been ashamed of my country until this year.
      I think the distribtion of wealth will backfire and make the ones that share wealth more conservative and more trifty so how will that feel.
      I also feel if push continues this country could see a departure of a generation wealth removed from the system remember the older generation know how to take money from investmets and banks and make mighty fluffy matteress.

  12. JZimme says:

    I believe we need a flat tax on everything. Then you could at least control what you pay in taxes.

    • Socalocal says:

      flat tax at what rate??? Too little and we won’t earn enough from higher income to pay their share to support Big Government and their welfare programs (i.e. Health care, welfare, social security, etc). Too much and lower and middle class will deal with the brunt of that pocket rape.

  13. AbetterUSA says:

    Well we all know that the word Politician means when you break it down.

    Poli= many
    Tic = Blood sucking creature

    So your politician will suck you dry until you die..

  14. Michael says:

    Does any one know how to balance a budget of a country? Revenue and expenses need to be balanced. The expenses from the health care program will save tax payer money in the long run, and improve the lives of millions of Americans. I don’t get it, is that wrong? Nobody complains about big government when our military occupies countries and fights wars…plus the military budget far exceeds all other programs. Education systems are falling apart, but the military has the best new guns to kill with. Lets have a flat tax and pay for it with cutting the military budget by just a few percentage points.

    • payingattention says:

      Andrew Jackson did. He started with routing out the bankers or “den of vipers” as he correctly called them and paid off the national debt.
      The first thing that needs to go is the Federal Reserve. They are the ones who make it possible for the “one’s that work for us” spend more than we have. The gold standard kept it inline, because there was a finite amount. I understand that we now cannot back purely by gold and silver, but it needs to be a real and tangible. not just a piece of paper with nothing but a promise like today. They print more money out of nowhere, write it down in a ledger, and tax accrues from the first minute. Now the money you do have saved is worth less than it was and you’re paying interest to the world’s wealthiest people that just stole the country blind for money created from thin air. Now they are going after what the responsible elderly people have left with reverse mortgages and insane nursing home care prices. Then if they manage to outlive their nestegg, they steal it through more taxes. They just wiped out the middle class, and they will keep taking out the rest until it is them at the top and the rest of the poor at ther bottom with no one in between.
      They are winning by dividing and conquering this country with distractions and fighting between the the dog and pony show called the two party system. There is no two party system of government in the United States. It’s all about government. The republicans assault our civil liberties and love deficits and war, and the democrats assault our commercial liberties and love wealth transfers and higher taxes. Either way the average American loses.
      Wake up and quit fighting each other.

  15. hammer says:

    I grew up in the ghetto and was able to pay my way through a private high school by working jobs after school. I paid my way through a private college by working two jobs for a year prior to entering college, taking out personal loans and worked two jobs while in college. I graduated within four years.

    I started out of college making $14,000 a year. For years I had a beater car and a roommate in order to make ends meet. I have worked the corporate rat race for the past 25 years and am now to a point where I am finally making a decent living. I get sick to my stomach when I see the amount (%) of taxes I must pay. I finally make it, in my fifties, and I have to give a greater % than anyone else in the country. I am not a trust baby…my wealth is recent. When you finally start seeing the end of the tunnel…the government continues to raise the % of tax I must pay.

    What really upsets me is when I see fathers having 5 babies with 5 different women and provide nothing to their upbringing. The children become dependents of the taxpayers. Until we address this major problem this country is in a heap of trouble.

  16. Michael says:

    I still remember vividly the friday when I got my first taste of Tax Reality. Wife and 2 very young children a yr apart at home I would go to my 2nd job for Y2K computer fixes.

    I was baffled when I got my check and I thought it was wrong… I asked one of the contractors I worked with and he said “No that’s right – If you make more, you should pay more”

    I was dumbfounded – it made no sense. How is that fair I asked? I thought a common PERCENT caused people who made more or less to contribute appropriately.

    I can feel my BP raising just typing this… it is still so far from what seems “right” or “fair”

  17. Anonymous says:

    i vote we establish a new government. Now that we’ve learned about the complications that followed our government, we can make a new and better government, one built upon history. just a thought

  18. william says:

    I have one statement look at the current president and vice president charity contributions and tell me hows spreading the wealth is working.
    obama 6% of his salary vrs george bush 17% who has no poitical gains by contributing more.

    biden .45% for any uneducated individual thats less than 1% Vrs Chaney 77%

    Standard need to start at home before you tell me how to spread my wealth.

    • Braves says:

      What do you expect – Dems simply want to take over people’s money for their own reasons and don’t give a dime back themself – it’s a shame!!

  19. Kim says:

    I’m with Hammer. My husband and I came from extremely deprived circumstances. We (separately) put ourselves through college (extremely difficult but we made it through in four years even working two jobs with 18 hour load), married in a very modest ceremony because we had to pay for it ourselves, lived on next to nothing for the first few years to pay off our college loans (never took gov’t aid even when we qualified for it). We chose to have a bunch of kids so I’ve stayed home with them. He has been working like a dog (11-12 hour days) to get himself very slowly up the corporate ladder – then we sacrificed to pay for him to get an MBA 10 years ago. In our late 40s he is finally starting to make some decent money. We spend most of our disposable income on a larger (not fancy – just lots of bedrooms) house and larger vehicles and all the extra everything that a large family requires. We seldom eat out, we don’t take big vacations, I buy our clothing and household items at garage sales and thrift stores and Walmart (horrors!). We don’t have large electronics other than computers. My children don’t have the best of anything other than our love and a good education (I homeschool which means we pay for their entire education as well as property taxes to support the local public school system.) We give a lot to charity and we have always done volunteer work in the community. Even when we had nothing, we gave money to our families to help them out.

    You tell me how we are so stinking rich that we should be paying a much larger percentage than everyone else – including some who seem to be able to afford new cars, trips to Disneyland and Hawaii and Cancun, nice jewelry and clothing and massages and pedicures, their children have the latest fashions and iPhones and iPods and cable TV… and we have to pay alternate minimum tax because the government thinks we don’t pay enough – too many deductions and too many dependents.

    Set the percentage – we all pay it – no exceptions – no loopholes –

    I love America and the opportunities it gives those who study and work hard and make sacrifices. But I’m sick of hearing that now that we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel that we should be punished for daring to raise our heads above the crowd. Would everyone be happier if we were destitute and on government aid? That is what my sister has chosen to do – she has never worked hard or sacrificed or denied herself – she is a single mom and takes all the govt will give her and mooches off my parents who live on social security only – and she complains that life isn’t fair. She doesn’t pay income tax, the government gives her money at tax time.

  20. just a thought says:

    Everyone is arguing as if they are “right” and everyone else is “wrong”. If politics were that simple there would be no debate. Everyone wants more, and most people will work for it. As long as incentives remain people will try, but if we make everyone take home the same amount, there is no reason to work harder. If everyone was working during the hours they spent arguing on sites like this, we’d all be better off.

  21. Sylvia says:

    Abe provided an enlightened commentary on taxes that degenerated to name calling and finger pointing. This is such a shame. How will our country EVER work out our problems with the name-calling attitudes expressed. And how did the comments get to that point!

    Read “Just a thought” and heed the advice!

  22. Sannity says:

    Remarkable how much harder than the average person everyone here works. Curious, really.

  23. Wes says:

    I despise the fact that 50% of what I pay to my government goes towards killing other peoples or researching/developing better ways to kill other peoples, despite the fact that I provide no support for such activities and consider them to be more amoral than government itself.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I have doubled my salary as a financial analyst from 35K to 70K in four and a half years, and my total tax went from 23% to 34%. Thats like a 100% increase in wages and a 58% increase in take home pay. I will contribute to an IRA or whatever, but taxes seem too high to me. And 50% of tax goes to war, many fronts of which we don’t need.

  25. Sam says:

    The worst is the 20 billion dollars that goes to Israel. Most of high officials in US are jews. Their loyalty is for israel not US. They are taking 20 billions from the taxpayers without our consents. 50$ per each US citizen. The goal is ethnic cleansing of the Israel and palastine from christianity. for them everyone who is not jew has to leave isreal. Gaza is the big concentration camp for anyone who is not jew. people of gaza demand to go back to their homes in Israel. These people are controlling the media. They want the american to think that arabs are nazi antijews which is not true. People of gasa demands is to return to their homes and to be treated the same as jews with no discrimination. Theonly way to stop the ethnic cleansing is to stop the 20 billions dollars military aid to Isreal.

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