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2014 Tax Tables: What They Mean for Your Taxes

Every year, the IRS releases new tax tables that reflect the basic income-tax rates that people pay. Yet the IRS routinely waits until the last minute to release them, with even 2013's tax tables not yet available on the IRS website as of mid-December. As a result, you can expect to wait at least another year before you'll see the final version of the 2014 tax tables.

But what you do have access to right now are tax tables that give the brackets that apply to various taxpayers. Here are some 2014 tax tables you can use to calculate your projected tax for your estimated 2014 income, based on IRS-provided numbers.

Single filers
If you're unmarried and not a surviving spouse or a head of household, then you can calculate your taxes as follows:

If Your Taxable Income Is:

Then Your Tax Equals:

Plus:

of Taxable Income Above:

$9,075 or less

10% of your taxable income

N/A

N/A

Between $9,075 and $36,900

$907.50

15%

$9,075

Between $36,900 and $89,350

$5,081.25

25%

$36,900

Between $89,350 and $186,350

$18,193.75

28%

$89,350

Between $186,350 and $405,100

$45,353.75

33%

$186,350

Between $405,100 and $406,750

$117,541.25

35%

$405,100

$406,750 or more

$118,118.75

39.6%

$406,750

Source: IRS.

Married joint filers and surviving spouses
If you're married and file jointly, or if you're a qualifying surviving spouse, then you can calculate your taxes as follows:

If Your Taxable Income Is:

Then Your Tax Equals:

Plus:

of Taxable Income Above:

$18,150 or less

10% of your taxable income

N/A

N/A

Between $18,150 and $73,800

$1,815

15%

$18,150

Between $73,800 and $148,850

$10,162.50

25%

$73,800

Between $148,850 and $226,850

$28,925

28%

$148,850

Between $226,850 and $405,100

$50,765

33%

$226,850

Between $405,100 and $457,600

$109,587.50

35%

$405,100

$457,600 or more

$127,962.50

39.6%

$457,600

Source: IRS.

Heads of household
If you qualify as a head of household, you can calculate your taxes as follows:

If Your Taxable Income Is:

Then Your Tax Equals:

Plus:

of Taxable Income Above:

$12,950 or less

10% of your taxable income

N/A

N/A

Between $12,950 and $49,400

$1,295

15%

$12,950

Between $49,400 and $127,550

$6,762.50

25%

$49,400

Between $127,550 and $206,600

$26,300

28%

$127,550

Between $206,600 and $405,100

$48,434

33%

$206,600

Between $405,100 and $432,200

$113,939

35%

$405,100

$432,200 or more

$123,424

39.6%

$432,200

Source: IRS.

Married filing separately
If you're married and file separately, then you can calculate your taxes as follows:

If Your Taxable Income Is:

Then Your Tax Equals:

Plus:

of Taxable Income Above:

$9,075 or less

10% of your taxable income

N/A

N/A

Between $9,075 and $36,900

$907.50

15%

$9,075

Between $36,900 and $74,425

$5,081.25

25%

$36,900

Between $74,425 and $113,425

$14,462.50

28%

$74,425

Between $113,425 and $202,550

$25,382.50

33%

$113,425

Between $202,550 and $228,800

$54,793.75

35%

$202,550

$228,800 or more

$63,981.25

39.6%

$228,800

Source: IRS.

Can't I just use those numbers?
Strangely, the IRS requires taxpayers earning less than $100,000 to use its official tax tables rather than simply calculating an amount using the tax computation worksheet. The tax table breaks income into $25 or $50 increments, charging the same amount of tax wherever your taxable income falls within that range.

In some cases, the actual IRS tax tables can lead to ridiculous results that the tax tables above avoid. If an extra $1 of income pushes you into the next $50 increment, it can cost you as much as $14 in additional tax. But the same tactic works in reverse, as you can often structure your itemized deductions to get your taxable income down into the previous $50 increment to save that $14. Also, keep in mind that your filing status is determined by your marital status as of the last day of the year. So if you're getting married during 2014, one of the married filing status tables will apply to you throughout the year.

Still, by using these tables as a guide, you should be able to get a good early indication of what your tax bill might look like when you file your 2014 tax returns in April 2015.

Be smart about your taxes
Knowing the 2014 tax tables is just one way you can plan to cut your bill to Uncle Sam. In our brand-new special report "How You Can Fight Back Against Higher Taxes," The Motley Fool's tax experts run through what to watch out for while doing your tax planning this year. With its concrete advice on how to cut taxes for decades to come, you won't want to miss out. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.


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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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