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Home » Taxes

2010 Federal Tax Brackets: Plan Now Before It’s Too Late

Last updated by on April 19, 2016

Update: The 2013, 2014, 2015 tax brackets and 2016 tax brackets have since been announced by the IRS.

2010 Federal Tax Brackets

Since the best tax planning usually comes throughout the year prior to the IRS tax deadline, right now might be a good time to revisit what your overall AGI might be this year and adjust your tax allowances so that you don’t get penalized or reduce your take home pay in other ways such as building up to the maximum 401K contribution.

You will want to avoid jumping up to the next tax bracket, if possible to prevent getting taxed at a higher level on that income. Here is another look at the 2010 federal tax brackets.

Tax Brackets for Singles:

federal tax brackets 201010% – $0-$8,375
15% – $8,375-$34,000
25% – $34,000-$82,400
28% – $82,400-$171,850
33% – $171,850-$373,650
35% – $373,650+

Tax Brackets for Married Filing Jointly:

10% – $0-$16,750
15% – $16,750-$68,000
25% – $68,000-$137,300
28% – $137,300-$209,250
33% – $209,250-$373,650
35% – $373,650+

Tax Brackets for Married Filing Separately:

10% – $0-$8,375
15% – $8,375-$34,000
25% – $34,000-$68,650
28% – $68,650-$104,625
33% – $104,625-$186,825
35% – $186,825+

Tax Brackets for Head Of Household:

10% Tax Bracket – $0-$11,950
15% Tax Bracket – $11,950-$45,550
25% Tax Bracket – $45,550-$117,650
28% Tax Bracket – $117,650-$190,550
33% Tax Bracket – $190,550-$373,650
35% Tax Bracket – $373,650+

Keeping IRS Tax Rates Lower on All Income

Here’s the part of the equation that is a common misconception. Your overall tax rate is not at whatever bracket you fall in. Only the income that falls into that tax bracket is taxed at that rate. As an example, if you are filing single, your tax rate on your first $8,375 of income is at 10%, all income between $8,375 and $34,000 is at 15%, and so on.

So my point in addressing this at the halfway point of the year is this – if you calculate that you might have income that would be considered part of a higher bracket, you may want to take action to keep your income lower and avoid the higher taxes on the income that would fall into the higher bracket.

Don’t Forget the Standard Deduction!

Also, keep in mind that there are standard tax deductions that will lower your income, if you don’t decide to itemize taxes. The standard deductions amounts are as follows:

  • $5,700 for single filers
  • $11,400 for married filers
  • $8,400 for head of household
  • $950 for dependents

Other Income Lowering Tax Deductions & Tax Credits:

Tax Bracket Discussion:

  • What have you done to stay in a lower tax bracket this year?
  • Which tax bracket did you max out in last year? Which are you predicting this year?

About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 10,000+ others by getting FREE email updates. You can also explore every post I have written, in order.

  • Ron Ablang says:

    Here are two things that I do to reduce my family’s taxable income:

    1) Contribute the max to my Health Savings Account (HSA), thereby reducing my yearly income by $6,150.00.

    2) Contribute some money every paycheck to my 457b account through Fidelity.

  • G.E. Miller says:

    @ Ron – HSA is a good one. Didn’t mention it, b/c you usually have to contribute to it in the last few months prior to the year that you can spend it, but looking ahead to 2011, it’s another solid option.

  • David H. says:

    I don’t itemize (not enough in donations, etc) so I’m stuck with the standard deduction until I get married/buy a house. The difference between the 25% and 28% bracket is important for to note bc I’m anticipating jumping brackets in the next year or two when I complete the MBA. My peers would find this helpful when negotiating their salary possibly to that 80k range.

    Thanks G.E.

  • Aury (Thunderdrake) says:

    Donations are usually a good way to minimize a tax bracket.

    in the case of a business, advertising is considered a tax deductible expense. I’m so doing that once I get some products on the market. >:D

  • Natalie says:

    @ G E Miller
    Remember that an HSA is only available if you have a high deductible health plan, but those funds are yours forever, even if you change jobs or are no longer a member of a HDHP. Contributing more if you qualify to have one is always a great idea. You can even save for health costs in retirement and my HSA has investment options once I reach a threshold amount. The neat thing about HSA contributions is that they are also exempted from FICA, not just federal taxes. Bonus for those of us who believe we will have to fund 100% of our own retirement.

    @David H
    Making more money is always a good idea. Don’t negotiate your pay down because it will put you in a higher tax bracket. Those are *marginal* rates, so if you are $1 into the 28% bracket, you will only pay 28% on that $1 and less on the rest. Instead, look for deductions and credits you can use. Contribute more to your traditional 401k or the HSA account that Ron mentioned.

    If your income is low enough, make sure you get the savers credit. I get an extra 20% credit on the first 2k I contribute to my 401k. It’s like getting a match from the government. You can also get credits for attending college and on child care expenses without having to itemize.


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