Here Are the 2023 Tax Brackets

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  • The U.S. tax system is a marginal one.
  • The tax rate that applies to your highest dollars of earnings will depend on your income.
  • The tax brackets are changing for tax year 2023.

These are numbers worth paying attention to.

Although many people don't really focus on taxes until it's time to file a return, from time to time, you may come across the words "tax bracket" and wonder what on earth they mean. But it's important to know what tax bracket you fall into -- and how your tax bracket impacts the amount of money you pay the IRS.

What's a tax bracket?

The U.S. tax system is a marginal one. That means you're charged more tax on your highest dollars of earnings, and less tax on your lowest earnings. Your tax bracket represents the highest tax rate you'll pay on your income.

What are the 2023 tax brackets?

The income ranges for tax brackets tend to change from year to year. Here's an overview of what next year's tax brackets look like:

Tax Bracket Single Tax-Filers Married Couples Filing Jointly Heads of Households
10% $0 to $11,000 $0 to $22,000 $0 to $15,700
12% $11,001 to $44,725 $22,001 to $89,450 $15,701 to $59,850
22% $44,726 to $95,375 $89,451 to $190,750 $59,851 to $95,350
24% $95,376 to $182,100 $190,751 to $364,200 $95,351 to $182,100
32% $182,101 to $231,250 $364,201 to $462,500 $182,101 to $231,250
35% $231,251 to $578,125 $462,501 to $693,750 $231,251 to $578,100
37% $578,126 or more $693,751 or more $578,101 or more
Data source: IRS

Here's what this means. Let's say you're single and you earn an annual salary of $40,000, and that that's your only income source (in reality, you probably have some other income, like interest from a savings account, but for the purpose of this example, we'll keep things simple). That means you fall into the 12% tax bracket. But that doesn't mean you'll pay a 12% tax rate on all of your income.

Rather, it's only income between $11,001 and $44,725 that's subject to that 12% tax rate. Your first $11,000 of earnings will be subject to a 10% tax rate.

You should also keep in mind that these brackets represent your federal income tax rate. The amount of state tax you owe will generally depend on your income, but also, the rates imposed by your state.

Can you lower your tax bracket?

Exempting a portion of your income from taxes could bump you into a lower tax bracket -- but it won't always. For example, let's say you earn $40,000 a year but contribute $4,000 of that to a traditional IRA. That won't impact your tax bracket. But if you earn $45,000 a year and contribute $4,000 to your IRA, you'll reduce your taxable income to $41,000. And that leaves you in a different (lower) bracket.

So all told, it pays to play around with different tax strategies that result in a lower tax burden for you. And if you're not sure which ones to employ, it could definitely pay to consult an accountant for advice.

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