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2012 IRS Tax Brackets

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Tax BracketsNow that we’re in the heart of tax season and the tax brackets for the current calendar year have been finalized, I’m ready to take off the “sneak peek” off the label for the 2012 IRS tax brackets. Our original figures were not off, the 2012 tax brackets were exactly how we predicted and that’s in part because we knew what inflation would be (and it’s effects on our tax structure).

The current tax brackets, that is the tax brackets that are in effect for the 2012 tax year, can be found on this archived page for 2011 tax brackets. These apply for tax year 2011, which you are preparing for today. The rates below will apply when you go to file your taxes in 2013. I know it’s confusing but this is how the cool tax kids talk about it.

2012 IRS Tax Brackets

Below are the official 2012 tax rates broken down by tax bracket and filing status (single, married filing jointly, and head of household):

Tax Bracket Single Married Filing Jointly Head of Household
10% Bracket $0 – $8,700 $0 – $17,400 $0 – $12,400
15% Bracket $8,701 – $35,350 $17,401 – $70,700 $12,401 – $47,350
25% Bracket $35,351 – $85,650 $70,701 – $142,700 $47,351 – $122,300
28% Bracket $85,651 – $178,650 $142,701 – $217,450 $122,301 – $198,050
33% Bracket $178,651 – $388,350 $217,451 – $388,350 $198,051 – $388,350
35% Bracket $388,350+ $388,350+ $388,350+

The brackets are slightly higher compared to last year, to account for inflation, but aren’t much of an increase. The brackets themselves have not changed though they may at the end of this year since the Bush tax cuts are expiring, after a two year extension.

Capital Gains Rates

The capital gains rates did not change from last year to this year, they remain:

  • Short term capital gains: Taxed at your rate for ordinary income (so your tax bracket rate).
  • Long term capital gains: If you are in the 10% or 15% tax bracket, your rate is 0%. Otherwise, 15%.

In 2013, these rates are set to increase. In 2013, and beyond, you will be taxed at 10% if you are in the 15% tax bracket and 20% in all higher tax brackets.

Other Changes

There are other notable increases as well, including an increase in the personal and dependency exemption to $3,800, an increase in the standard deduction for single filers to $5950 and for married filing jointly will increase to $11900.

The next question is how these brackets will be affected by upcoming legislation for 2013.

(Photo: kozumel)

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92 Responses to “2012 IRS Tax Brackets”

  1. Frank says:

    It is all about buying votes. Not to critisize the truly needy.There are a lot of votes in the gimme sector of our country.

    Govt employment pay and perks are great if you work there. How many private sector lower income jobs does it take to pay for 1 average Govt employee pay and benefits? There are many on the payroll that do nothing but when it comes to the balanced budget, necessity jobs, taxes are designed to provide (police fire defence) are always threatened instead of the do nothing jobs. Do we really need marble floor court houses? Or lower taxes?

    • Frugal says:

      I know this is a touchy subject, but generalizing is always dangrous. There are many government employees who work very hard and do their best on a daily basis.

      Also, initially you referred to govt employees and then you refer to marble floor court houses? Did I miss something?

  2. taa says:

    Time for this country to go to a flat tax system. State get 8%, the fed gets 10%. Every person, every company, even those from other countries. If you make it here you pay. If the people in office can’t make it on that that is raised, get someone in that can. No free rides, no exempt, pay or jail, your choice.

    • shawn says:

      I think a flat tax or no income tax raise sales tax. So rich people pay the same amount and poor people still contribute.

  3. shawn says:

    By the way Obama needs to be kicked out of office

    • Mark N. says:

      Why? Because Mr. Four-marriages-and-counting-Talk-Radio-Family-Values-Ultra-Conservative says so?

      • barratt says:

        I’m sorry. Mitt Romney has one wife. His belief system (Mormon), has made it very clear that one wife is the best way when possible. And that is definitely not the reason that Obama is dangerous to lead this country. Obama should no longer be President of the United States becasuse he does not respect or understand what motivates, moves, and grows the economy of the United States of America. Investors should be incentivized and applauded to grow business, which does not happen when they are penalized with excessively high taxes. Why should they work more? So before you know it, those who have found out how to make money no longer are motivated to do so, or no longer able because government taxes are so high and government regulations are so restrictive. I know many who do not work or trust themselves to be able to work because they have been taught that the government can take care of them better. Be it laziness of those taking money from others who are earning it, fear of an inability to do it yourself bc the government has always provided for you, or a system that is so regulated that it takes high skills and a high value to even break into the workforce – the trend towards socialism is hurting even the lowest tax bracket members of our community to get jobs and skills, and to build their own lives and self-respect, as well as our country.

        (Polygamy was only appropriate for a short period of time when they had been persecuted to the degree that many women were left alone in a dangerous time (frontier time) and select men were asked to take more than one wife and care for them. No longer necessary, no longer practiced)

        • Brandon says:

          Way to reply two months later. I’m sure he’ll respond. By the way, we aren’t asking them to pay more. Just what they paid pre-Bush. If you think anyone is going to stop making money because they have to pay more taxes on it. You are an idiot. People will continue to invest because they want to make money. They won’t care if they are getting taxed 10-15 or even 30 percent. More money is….ready for it…more money. Oh and the welfare queen story is old….get a new one.

        • Tony says:

          You do not know your facts.Why did mormon men marry teenager who came from wealthy families when they already had 3 or 4 wife’s ? It was about populating the cult .

          • Floyd says:

            Didn’t seem to hurt his debating skills

          • ron says:

            Tony: You have no idea what you are talking about. First of all marrying more than one wife ended with the Mormon religion over 100 years ago. Only so called fundamentalist Mormons “marry” more than one wife and are NOT in any
            way connected to the true Mormon religion.

      • I thought Mark N. was referring to Newt Gingrich.

  4. caligirl says:

    Well I honestly don’t find anything wrong with the tax rate… It’s completely unfair that normal people who struggle to pay bills and barely make ends meat pay more in tax than the rich… Regular people who has a family and live pay check to paycheck deserve a break. Rich people get to skip out in taxes because they did this for charity or that for whatever… Therefore leaving them with more money in the pocket… Whereas people like me and every one else on here work hard for our money and get raped at the end of the year… So to me I think it’s great that it went up for them and I find it stupid that you guess are complaining about the tax rate when Obama is doing us a favor… That money that comes out every year a lot of people in this country could honestly use that money… For bills etc. but you guys are too busy complaining about it instead of looking at the big picture… Obama is helping us little people out by finally stepping up to the plate and saying yes I will tax the rich… Because no other president would before him would… He is doing everything he said he would… It’s not easy being president duh… He can’t just walk in office and say ok well let’s get those troops out of there and yeah let’s make this medical coverage plan changed… Get my point!!! Everything takes time… That’s what’s wrong with our country we are never give any one a chance to accomplish what they said they would do in office If we don’t see it happen so we look for the next best thing… Stop complaining and give him a chance to do what he said he was going to do.

    • ONCEADEM says:

      I think we need a president that will have the guts to address entitlements. Pretty soon all of us who actually get up in the morning and go to work are going to run out of money and or incentive to keep getting up and going to work. I have a problem with those that do not even try to work and we do not make them. I will pay to educate you and even help you find a job but I have a problem with you standing their with you hand out and expecting me to give you a piece of my hard earned wages without even trying.

    • Just Stop It says:

      Your kids go to the same schools mine do, you drive on the same streets I do, your government is the same as mine, they don’t provide me with anything more than you. My parents weren’t rich, I have no trust fund, no rich aunt left me an inheritance…

      If I earn more than you its not because someone just drew my name from a hat and decided to hand me more money. I earn it by working 10+ hour days and sacraficing weeks at a time away from my family. I’m basically killing myself to give them a better life, so why should I pay more than you? Why?

      • time for a good change says:

        I couldn’t agree more!

      • Jacqueline says:

        If people would get educated on what is going on, the Obama lovers would not be so in love with him. They would be saying NObama. I love the comment above. I too work hard for my money and was not handed anything. Why the heck should I have to pay more taxes to help the lazy people that don’t want to work or the people that don’t understand how taxes work. Exmaple: If you have your money in investments and you make money from those investments, then you don’t get taxed the same as your payroll. I crack up when people get all ovet Mitt for his taxes, when if they knew the tax laws they would have nothing to whine about. He gives millions in taxes to charities for those people who feel they deserve a handout and those people still whine. If we did not have the rich, then our country would be in serious trouble. We would end up like Spain or Greece, with no money for anything. Where do you think the jobs come from? It is not your precious Obama. I personally think we should not have to give the raises and pensions we are giving right now. We just can’t afford it. I could go on and on, but why? Only the educated are going to get it and the rest are going to continue whining. I have no problem helping the poor that truly need it, but most of the time our government steals the money we pay anyway for those programs to balance their stupid budget. So until the government is brought under control, nothing is going to change. The people that make money work for it and want a better life. Quit expecting someone else to help you and help yourself.

    • WOW..... says:

      And leave my healthcare alone!! I don’t want his stupid health plan for my family or my employees. And that is why he needs to go- he has done enough (nothing!!!) But his goals and visions are scary. FYI- If he has his way small business will be non-existant and if that happens it’s going to get really bad because small business is what keeps this country going.

      AND…from what you wrote I can tell why you are at the bottom of the food chain with your reference to having to pay your taxes as being raped. You are IGNORANT!!!!

    • Tony says:

      Now you know what you are talking about. Great Tony

    • Patti says:

      Dear Cali girl,
      I know that you are sincere in your words. I want you to know that Obama doesn’t care about us. He is taking away my religious freedom. He is giving so much money to Planned Parenthood. He is NOT the person whom you think he is. Look into his past. He wants us to be a Godless country. He wants us to be government dependant so he has total CONTROL. He wants to be King. He wants us all to think like him. He is very slick and you always have to watch out for the slick ones. They speak with fork tongues. He tries to get people to think he is a nice guy but, reallly he has an agenda. he really doesn’t care about americans. If he wins this election we will be Europe and not America. I want to stay American. Let the Europeans stay European. He wasts so much tax payer money. PLease do you homework before voting for him I beg you!

  5. fedup says:

    Caligirl – you are an idiot. “Rich” is a relative term. Based on your email, I would guess that you believe anyone making more than you is “rich”. By standards elsewhere in the world, you are also very “rich” and your tax rates need to go up so we can send whatever you make to the regular people in poor parts of the world that are starving and have no income at all. That’s what is wrong with this country – everyone thinks that someone that has more than they do is somehow a crook, a thief, or somehow needs to be punished by taking their stuff away so that they have nothing, too. Its not about helping the poor in your mind, its about simply making someone else who has been successful suffer like you. Why don’t we start with your left wing hollywood aristicats that look down their noses at the rabble as they drive by in their super strech limo after getting off their jet on their way to a $40,000/plate dinner to support their ultra-liberal candidate that they want to raise taxes on everyone to ease their guilt over how much money they have? The Government doesn’t need to confiscate money in order for it to be sent to someone poor – the rich snobs can write the check themselves. By the way, when they do donate to charity it is simply a tax deductible items that may or may not reduce their taxable income, depending on their specific circumstance. Writing a check to charity does not allow anyone to “keep more money in their pockets” as you suggest (thus earning you the title of “idiot”), they still pay taxes on whatever tax bracket they are in -if they write a check to charity they are writing that check and then paying their taxes, too – nobody gives them money back because they gave money to charity like its some sort of secret investment scheme that only the “rich” know about.

  6. Diane says:

    This is just as 2010: Top ten Income Tax Rates in the World. Perhaps we should stop complaining.

    Ireland –
    Highest income tax rate: 48%
    Average 2010 income: $50,400

    Finland
    Highest income tax rate: 49.2%
    Average 2010 income: $49,000

    (Tied) United Kingdom
    Highest income tax rate: 50%
    Average 2010 income: $52,320

    (Tied) Japan
    Highest income tax rate: 50%
    Average 2010 income: $53,200

    (Tied) Belgium
    Highest income tax rate: 50%
    Average 2010 income: $52,700

    (Tied) Austria
    Highest income tax rate: 50%
    Average 2010 income: $50,700

    Netherlands
    Highest income tax rate: 52%
    Average 2010 income: $57,000

    Denmark
    Highest income tax rate: 55.4%
    Average 2010 income: $64,000

    Sweden
    Highest income tax rate: 56.6%
    Average 2010 income: $48,800

    Aruba
    Highest income tax rate: 58.95%
    Average 2010 income: N/A

    • Rob says:

      Taxes in Socialist nations generally tend to be a bit higher than most… These nations aren’t classified as Socialist but adhere to social guidelines including socialized health care… that is expensive… Our nation is trying to do the same thing, without actually doing the same thing. They just want the wealthy class to pay the high taxes, not the “under privileged” at least these countries you get something for paying 50% of your earned money.

  7. Nite1331 says:

    Taxes are not the problem.
    What we do with those taxes is.

    Taxes are not a payment for living. They are security for living better

  8. Druby says:

    To clarify on taxes for those who don’t understand taxes. You pay tax on your income. You invest some money in a dividend paying company. Say $100. this is money that is left after you pay you taxes. You get a 5% dividend on that taxed money. You hold it long term and get paid 15% on the dividend,$0.75. The divided is money returned to investors after the Company pays corporate income taxes. So the $100 you bought your stock with was after taxes on your income. The $0.75 dividend was after the company paid it’s taxes and was returned to you for loaning the company some of your taxed money.If your taxe rate is 20%, the Corporte rate is 20% and the long term dividend rate is 15%, between you and the company 55% tax was collected on the money you invested with dividend and the money the company made using your investment money. That seems rather steep but an attempt to keep you investing by in this example reducing your tax by 5%

  9. Druby says:

    To clarify on taxes for those who don’t understand taxes. You pay tax on your income. You invest some money in a dividend paying company. Say $100. This is money that is left after you pay your taxes. You get a 5% dividend on that taxed money. You hold it long term and get pay tax of 15% on the dividend,$0.75. The dividend is money returned to investors after the Company pays corporate income taxes. So the $100 you bought your stock with was after taxes on your income. The $0.75 dividend was after the company paid it’s taxes and was returned to you for loaning the company some of your taxed money.If your tax rate is 20%, the Corporte rate is 20% and the long term dividend rate is 15%, between you and the company 55% tax was collected on the money you invested with dividend and the money the company made using your investment money. That seems rather steep but an attempt to keep you investing, by in this example, reducing your tax by 5%. Now that is and ordinary middle class investor not making only dividend income. The “rich” person invested in a compay after he paid his taxes years ago on his earned income. He still pays tax on his dividends evry year and by keeping invested in the company he earns a reduction in tax. He could also lose his inveatment if the company goes brankrupt, think GMC and that is the risk he took

  10. WOW..... says:

    As someone who works over 50 hours a week and draws a 30,000.00 income a year in our family owned and operated construction company all I have to say is…leave my money ALONE. I am self insured.. not because I have an extra overflow of cash on hand but because I sacrifice (hair weave, nails did, coach bags etc.) to provide this for my husband, myself and my kids. Do not tell me what you can not afford due to YOUR cable bill, internet bill, lexus car payment, cell phone bill… while your kids get free breakfast and lunch at school while I cut coupons out and only buy items on sale!!! Our business is a long term goal that has been here for 25 years and if I have anything to do about will be here a lot longer. Hard work and determination was what America was built on. If you want socialism go to a socialist country- I don’t want my children and grandchildren to pay for you stupidity and ignorance.

    • stopthe bleeding says:

      FYI how about this scam that is depleting our tax dollars by the minute…Singe person (Head of Household) claims 8 different child dependants with soc sec #s and claims they are their dependants when the reality is that they belong to their (illegal alien parents who do not have soc sec #’s) and the single person fraudulantly claims to have been sole provider for more than 6 mos of the yr being claimed however truthfully she herself lives with her parents and is not providing for these 8 dependants at all and earns a 16,800.00 per yr salary however she claims “Head of Houshold” for these fraudulant 8 dependants and IRS returns her with a reward return of 8600.00 as opposed to her paying her due taxes on the actual $16,800.00 earned!

  11. Grant says:

    I am interested where the “Official 2012″ brackets came from. I have been working off of what is found in table 7 on page 37 of this document, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15.pdf

    There seems to be conflicts between the two.

  12. Tammy says:

    I will not vote for Romney as he has no clue what it’s like to be constantly financially stressed. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has no clue. What good are jobs that pay $8 – 10 an hour, I’d like to see him try to raise a family on that. I did not vote for Obama 4 years ago, however I sure as hell will be this year. Obama’s next 4 years will be the more productive as he had one hell of a mess to dig us out from 8 years of Bush… another silver-spoon-born jackass.

  13. KU says:

    Tammy, you are so wrong. Mitt was NOT born into wealth, he earned it. And now people who dont want to work for a living want to steal it and re-distribute it, and they have the perfect guy, in Obama, that is facilitating. This election has been turned into class warfare by Obama and people living off entitlements. It is the most important election in our life times, if we want to be able to have America not go completely Marxist, as it’s going right now.


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