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Official IRS Tax Brackets 2011 (IRS Tax Rates)

Written by Nickel - 15 Comments

Official 2011 Federal Income Tax Brackets

In case you missed it, the IRS released the official 2011 tax brackets late last month. This information is usually available a bit earlier but, as you’re likely aware, there was a ton of drama surrounding the Bush-era tax cuts that didn’t end up getting sorted out until early December.

Here’s a quick rundown of how things will look.

IRS Tax Brackets 2011

Tax Bracket Married Filing Jointly Single
10% Bracket $0 – $17,000 $0 – $8,500
15% Bracket $17,001 – $69,000 $8,501 – $34,500
25% Bracket $69,001 – $139,350 $34,501 – $83,600
28% Bracket $139,351 – $212,300 $83,601 – $174,400
33% Bracket $212,301 – $379,150 $174,401 – $379,150
35% Bracket Over $379,150 Over $379,150

If you compare these to the 2010 tax brackets, you’ll see that the overall rate structure is indeed the same, though the cutoffs have been adjusted slightly upward.

If you’re unsure of how to use this info to figure your taxes, check out my earlier post on how tax brackets work. And remember, moving to a higher tax bracket will not reduce your take home pay.

As always, if you’re interested in minimizing your income taxes, you should be aware (and take advantage) of the most common income tax deductions as well as the most commonly missed tax deductions. You should also consider tax efficiency when investing, and take advantage of perks at work like a flexible spending account or health savings account.

For more details, feel free to check out IRS Revenue Procedure 2011-12.

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Published on January 5th, 2011
Modified on January 26th, 2012 - 15 Comments
Filed under: Taxes

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15 Responses to “Official IRS Tax Brackets 2011 (IRS Tax Rates)”

  1. 1
    Mike B. Says:

    The other big thing to consider is withholding…. Take the IRS rules of when you owe a penalty for underpayment, and turn them around. You should adjust your withholding if:
    – Your refund was more than $1000
    – Your refund was more than 10% of your total tax liability
    – Your tax liability was temporarily higher than normal last year (IRA conversion, jumbo bonus or stock sale, etc.) and you didn’t owe money.

  2. 2
    Tyler Says:

    Keep in mind the income numbers within the table are based on your TAXABLE income, i.e. after accounting for your standard/itemized deduction, IRA contributions, exemptions, student loan interest, etc.

  3. 3
    Courtney Says:

    Speaking of IRA contributions, the 2011 income limits for Roth IRA eligibility were released as well. The disparity between the single filer income limit and the MFJ continues to grow :-/

  4. 4
    BG Says:

    In a nutshell: nothing much going-on in the marginal income-tax brackets.

    However, don’t forget the immensely huge reduction in payroll taxes for 2011 (wage earners will pay 5.65% instead of the normal 7.65% to SS/FICA — self employed will pay 13.3% instead of 15.3%) on income below $106,800. Income above $106,800 is still taxed at 1.45% (wage-earner) or 2.9% (self-employed) for FICA. This ‘payroll tax holiday’ is good for 2011 only — and will likely never see light of day again.

    But, offset that with the elimination of the ‘Make Work Pay’ credit ($400 single, $800 married) — bastards! (I guess work no longer pays).

    Then again: the Standard Deduction was raised ($11,600 married, $5,800 single) and the personal exemptions are now $3,700 per person.

    All in all, I’m figuring a little over $1,000 extra I get to keep in 2011: about a 6% reduction in taxes for me.

    But in 2012 I’ll be paying more than I did in 2010, since the ‘make work pay’ (gone in 2011) and ‘payroll tax holiday’ credits will both be gone.

  5. 5
    Courtney Says:

    @ BG – given that we can’t get rid of ‘temporary’ tax cuts 10 years later AND 2012 is an election year AND republicans want to kill social security anyways, I actually think the chances of payroll taxes going back up next year are pretty low.

  6. 6
    BG Says:

    #5 Courtney) If anything, I think our tax code will continue to become more regressive/less progressive: meaning the rich will continue to pay less and less taxes, while the poor/middle will continue to pay more and more taxes.

    This is a trend that has started 70 years ago, and if anything, has only been accelerated rapidly in the past 20, and especially past 10 years.

    BTW: I agree Republicans want to kill Social Security (as in the benefits), they, however, absolutely love the payroll taxes that only affect the first $106k of income. Whenever a republican mentions cutting SS-benefits, they will never say that they also want to reduce the SS-taxes.

  7. 7
    BG Says:

    #5 Courtney) See this link for an analysis of the ‘payroll-tax holiday’:

    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com.....streamers/

    Thanks.

  8. 8
    Courtney Says:

    BG – I don’t disagree that it is a bigger benefit to higher incomes, who are more likely to save it (We are getting a little over $3K and we’re not increasing our spending ‘accordingly’). I just sincerely doubt that you (or I) will actually be paying more in 2012 because of Congress’s track record about not letting temporary cuts expire.

  9. 9
    BG Says:

    “…I just sincerely doubt that you (or I) will actually be paying more in 2012 because of Congress’s track record about not letting temporary cuts expire.”

    I think the ‘temporary’ income tax cuts will become permanent (which the vast majority of that goes to the wealthy), the ‘payroll tax holiday’ and the $1,000 child tax credit and other little credits/exemptions/deductions that the poor/middle use will be killed off.

    My bet: the rich will be paying less overall taxes to the federal government, and the poor/middle will be paying more — as I said, this has been the trend for decades, and even 2011 is no exception (the poor are paying more in 2011 than they did in 2010).

  10. 10
    T Says:

    BG -
    Low income people SHOULD pay more in taxes. WHY you might ask? Because they don’t pay ANY right now. All people use roads, fire and police, education, etc. and EVERYONE should pay. I’m not saying they should pay a ton, but they should pay something.

    I donate to those less fortunate. It should be up to people to donate their money…we would do it much more efficiently then the government. Let the people keep their money and allow them to help people out.

    I think that the less fortunate should get some help, but when that help goes to alcohol and drug (as it sometimes does), when it goes to manicures, when it goes to NON-Essentials, then there is an issue. People live in squallor in section 8 housing and drive nice cars. That’s ridiculous.

    It’s time to teach people to live within their means whether that is $10,000, $50,000 or $2 mil. If people don’t like it, work harder. It’s what my father did and everyone before him. Too often people blame race, class, or whatever for why they can’t get ahead. I grew up in a lower class family and now I’d be considered middle-class. I don’t deamonize those who have made it. They deserve it!

    Let the people keep what they earn and incentive them to give charitably and get the government out of the way! We will all be better off.

  11. 11
    Dolores Rose Says:

    I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY MY EMPLOYER IS TAKING SO MUCH MORE OUT OF MY PAYROLL??
    IT IS TWICE AS MUCH IN 2011 AS IT WAS IN 2010

  12. 12
    Bob Mack Says:

    “T” is right on. Most people bitch about how much tax they pay but U.S. Taxes are actually very low compared to most developed nations.
    If you worked hard enough to make two or three hundred thousand imagine the bitching we would hear when you had to pay 1/3 of that or even more in taxes to an incompetent government that has squandered trillions and destroyed our economic future. And no it is not only Republicans or only Democrats, it is all the idiots in Washington, and they need to go. The U.S. Income Tax is graduated, that means the more you earn the more tax you pay. Just shut up and pay your small share.

  13. 13
    Cissy Says:

    You are so right Bob Mack,
    It boils down to coveting. I’m sick of the attacks on the ‘rich’, which ONLY means one thing ‘you have more than me’! What is it to me if someone inherits money, strikes it rich or if they create a big business and earn it? It’s THEIR money! My tax bracket is 25% on yearly joint earnings of 26,000! Go figure! I guess we are the ‘rich’! No, we just have virtually no deductions and don’t fit into any special bracket. I created my own job and pay more into Social Security than I will ever get back. The tax law is not equal or fair.
    I’m for a flat percentage tax and everyone paying their own percentage of earnings, esp. the politicians. No one should get special breaks except those that give charitibly. After all we all use the same infrastructure. Government handouts should done away with so the needy depend on personal charity, then recipients would be known to actually need it and if they smoke or drink it they will get cut off. I know so many deadbeats that simply won’t work and they squack the loudest about the ‘rich’ (like me) and gov. handouts. Yes, shut up and pay your share! Quit looking across the fence and take care of your own finances and family.

  14. 14
    William Crichfield Says:

    Has there been any information on the 2011 exemption amount pertaining to the Alternative Minimum Tax???

  15. 15
    Charlene Says:

    To BG, Bob Mack, & Cissy–I read what you all had to say & wonder where your collective heads have been these past years! None of you have noticed, but the rich are stealing us blind! NOT just by getting the tax laws changed in their favor–but by allowing corporations to get favorable regulations & rules passed that also allow THEM to steal us blind! Bush cut taxes for the rich while beginning 2 wars & thereby ran up the deficit on purpose–which is another way–to steal us blind. The sub-prime housing crisis was yet another plan to steal us blind by the rich; wealth was transferred from the masses to the elite. What was the 2008 financial meltdown? Yes! The TARP funds were a transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to the elite bankers–it was a planned heist, probably the greatest heist in the history of mankind. If none of that registers with you people–all the cutbacks & lack of jobs caused by the rich stealing us blind–if you don’t want to fight back & force the govt to pass laws to stop the rich & the corporations from STEALING US BLIND–then I don’t know what to say.

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