Personal Finance 

What Tax Bracket Am I In? [Calculator]

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A lot of people have been reaching Bargaineering because they asked: “What tax bracket am I in?”

So, to solve this problem and to redirect people from other pages to this one, I’ve decided to offer up this simple to use calculator.

Enter your pre-tax, post-deduction (after your 401k contributions and medical expenses) salary and click “What bracket am I in?”

The calculator will spit out the marginal tax bracket you are in.

Handy Dandy Marginal Tax Bracket Finder

This calculator is based on 2009 tax bracket data.

Marital Status: Single
Married Filing Jointly
Your Salary:
Your Bracket:

This page has the current IRS federal income tax brackets and remember, this is your marginal tax rate. Your actual marginal tax rate may be lower based on deductions, exemptions, credits, etc.

{ 18 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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18 Responses to “What Tax Bracket Am I In? [Calculator]”

  1. azphx1972 says:

    Excellent. Thanks!

  2. Damon Day says:

    Nifty little Tool Jim. I have a feeling it is going to get outdated here pretty quickly the way things are going :-).

    One thing I find quite often is that people get confused by the term Marginal Tax Bracket.

    Meaning if you are in the 25% tax bracket, you do not pay 25% on all of your income after deductions. Think of it as a sliding scale. For example, if you are left with 35K in taxable income. Even though your top rate is 25% you will not pay 25% on 35K. You will pay say 10% on the first maybe 8K or so, then 15% on the 8K to 33K or whatever the actual number is and then only 25% on the final 2K.

  3. eric says:

    ^I think Jim already talked about that difference in another post. Good info nonetheles.

  4. Dave says:

    I’m not sure how useful this calculator is for those who have families and itemize their deductions. Even though our post-401k gross is around $97K (putting us squarely in the 25% bracket according to the calculator), after $17K in itemized deductions and $15K in exemptions (wife and 2 kids), we are actually in the 15% bracket. This makes a big difference in tax planning. If I were actually in the 25% bracket I would not be contributing to a Roth; since I’m in the 15% bracket I’ll gladly pay 15% taxes now on my Roth contributions.

    • Evan K says:

      I hear you there, I stopped contributing to the Roth because the deductions phased out.

      Jim any advice for me and my wife who will likely be bridging the 25-28% brackets? How do I make sure we get down to 25%? We need more deductions!

      • Evan K says:

        I should have mentioned that I have 7% going to 401(k) and my wife has 2% (maximum matching for our respective employers)

      • Jim says:

        Unfortunately no, but remember that only the dollars above the 25% line are taxed at 28% so it’s not that bad. Personally, I focus on how I can make more money or spend less. I’ve always found it’s better to focus on earning more (because you keep 73% of that, versus 28% of any deductions) or spending less (you keep 100%).

    • Kirk says:

      I used to draw this picture for my friends on a whiteboard to help them understand taxes. I think the term bracket is misunderstood by many. It is simply highest tax rate applied to any portion of your income.

      For the 28% rate a married couple filing jointly, you only pay 28% on any income above $137,050 and less than $208,850. So if you make $137,051 in taxable income. Then the 28% bracket is only applied to the $1 above $131,050.

      Here’s a better calculator:

      As for the Roth, I personally wouldn’t not contribute to a Roth when I’m eligible to – that’s just me. Can you think of a better savings vehicle for your post tax dollars regardless of what bracket you end in? That’s just my opinion, and I know many people will disagree with me.

  5. Dj Hams says:

    Thanks for not posting my comment, even though I had a legitimate question about it.

    • Jim says:

      Dj, I’m currently on vacation in Europe and a friend of mine has been monitoring the comments, it’s likely that it was marked as spam because the URL you used lead to an empty page. Do you mind reposting the question/comment?

      (as you can see, I’m not trying to censor you, it must have been a simple misunderstanding)

  6. A bit simplistic, of course, but a nice tool. The nice thing is that you can update the code as the brackets are modified.

  7. DCH says:

    I know it’s not that big of a deal, but I thought I’d point out what looks like (at least on my end) an error in the form calculation…

    Specifically, look at the boundary values. When I enter $16700, $67900, $137050, or $208850 the result is incorrectly given as 35%, instead of the appropriate bracket.

    Just thought I’d let you know so you can fix it!

    • DCH says:

      The values I mentioned are only incorrect for married filing jointly. The incorrect values for single filers are: $8350, $33950, $82250, and $171550 (just to clarify).

  8. KenG says:

    Yup, $208850 = 35%… bug! I have too much free time.

  9. aaren t. johnson says:

    thanks, i really didn’t know until today how i am being affected by the tax lapses.

  10. TAX says:

    I understand and realize that this calculator just looks at your Gross Income and compares it to a tax bracket for MFJ, and they say this might be different for “deduction, Credits…” OK

    This would be way more helpful if they took your Gross Income and subtracted out the standard deduction (11,600) for MFJ, and two Personal Exemptions (3,700 Each) So if I have 80K in Gross Income I’m NOT in the 25% Bracket!!!!!


    Giving me 61,000 and putting me in the 15% bracket.

    Don’t use this…

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