2010 Federal Tax Brackets

February 17, 2010

The federal income tax brackets for 2010 probably aren’t the tax rates you’re worried about right now if you’re still working on your tax return for last year. Although the tax brackets don’t tend to change significantly from year to year; over time the changes in tax rates add up so it makes sense to keep an eye on them.

Of course the federal tax brackets are going to change each year whether you watch them or not but you can be aware of the tax tables as you do your tax planning for the year to come.

Here are the 2010 income tax brackets along with an overview of the different brackets and common questions regarding tax tables.

Tax Bracket Single Married/Filing JointlyFree Tax Calculator
10%$0-$8,375 $0-16,750
25%$34,000-$82,400$68,000-$137,300Free Tax Calculator
28%$82,400-$171,850 $137,300-$209,250
33%$171,850-$373,650 $209,250-$373,650
35% $373,650+ $373,650+

What are tax brackets?

Tax brackets were established by Congress with the idea of taxing citizens based on their varying income levels. Tax brackets are based on your amount of taxable income after deductions and exemptions and tells how much will be owed in federal taxes for every dollar earned. Tax brackets are also dependent upon your filing status. Each year tax brackets are reconfigured according to rates of inflation.

Will my entire income be taxed in one bracket?

Your entire income is not taxed within one bracket. For example, in you are single and earn $40,000, the first $8,375 will be taxed in the 10% bracket, then from $8,375 up to $34,000 will be taxed in the 15% bracket, and the remaining $6,000 will be taxed in the 25% tax bracket.

Tax Bracket Head of Household Married/Filing Separately
28%$117,650-$190,550 $68,650-$104,625
33%$190,550-$373,650 $104,625-$186,825
35%$373,650+ $186,825+

Tax Bracket Overview

Single – This status is for unmarried, individual tax payers.

Married/Filing Jointly – This status applies to married couples who choose to file their taxes together in one return.

Married/Filing Separately – This status is for married couples who choose, for personal or financial reasons, to continue filing separately, though not as a Single status.

If you are married but filing separately, keep in mind with children that dependent exemptions can only be claimed by one of you, not both.

Head of Household – This status does not claim marital status. A dependent does not have to be claimed to qualify as Head of Household.

2010 Tax Updates

Here are some things to note for your 2010 federal income tax returns:

  • New/additional Tax forms such as Form 2553 for election by small business entities: or Form 8868 for internal real estate mortgage investment conduit returns.
  • Electronic online filing will be strongly encouraged more than in past years.
  • New standard deductions for 2010 are $11,400 for married couples filing jointly, $5,700 for singles/separated and married couples filing separately, $8,400 for heads of household.
  • Unlike last year’s increase, the Gift Exclusion remains the same at $13,000.
  • Also unlike last year, personal exemptions will not increase, remaining at $3,650.

Tax Calculator 2010

If you’re wondering what the tax rates mean to your family, you can run the numbers with this free tax calculator.


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Debbie Dragon is a full-time writer who has been covering personal finance online for almost 9 years.

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5 Responses to 2010 Federal Tax Brackets

  • JoeTaxpayer

    You said it, but it’s worth repeating.
    For a married filing joint couple, a Standard deduction $11,400, plus two exemptions at $3650 each, total $18,700, i.e. the first $18,700 a couple earns has no Federal tax at all. It takes another $68,000 to max out the 15% bracket.


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