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Federal Tax Brackets 2010

Published 10/7/09 (Modified 6/17/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Federal Tax Brackets 2010

Death and taxes. You can try to fight them both tooth and nail, but at the end of it all, it's a losing proposition. Especially when it comes to taxes, the government is going to want its fair share cut of your salary and business profits one way or another, whether you like it or not. Rather than engage in tax evasion and possibly live the remaining years of your life on the run as a tax fugitive from the long arm of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you might as well confront the issue of taxes head on. All we can do is try our best to understand how income taxes work and take reasonable steps to minimize their effects on our financial lives as much as possible.

One of the most introductory ways to plan for the effects of income taxes is to recognize how the various marginal rates are applied to the corresponding tax brackets. Because the United States does not yet currently engage in a flat tax system, our taxable incomes are broken down into different taxation ranges with specific taxation percentages assessed depending on where they fall along the tax bracket spectrum. Although our 2010 tax returns won't be filed until April 15, 2011, for planning purposes, it's always good to find out the new changes to the tax code as early as possible. Let's examine some of the upcoming tax rate changes that are being projected for 2010 and compare them to the previous year's 2009 tax brackets.

Projections Of New IRS Tax Rates Have Historically Been Extremely Accurate

Year after year, even before the official IRS income tax brackets are released, a select number of tax experts have gotten together and crunched a determinative number of officially released statistics by governmental agencies - to project and extrapolate the upcoming year's tax brackets. Year after year, the tax rate predictions released by these groups have yielded results in advance with near 100% accuracy. Such an income tax bracket projection ahead of time is possible because many of the major tax code numbers are pegged to officially released inflation statistics - including the standard deduction, the personal exemption, the actual income ranges of the tax brackets, and contributions limits for the investment retirement accounts (both the Traditional and Roth IRA account).

One of these tax prognosticating groups is the Tax Foundation, a Washington D.C. think tank which collects data and publishes research studies on federal and state tax policies. The other notable group operates under the auspices of the Wall Street Journal and is comprised of a merry band of private tax professionals and economists - namely William E. Massey, a senior tax analyst from the Tax and Accounting arm of Thomson Reuters; George Jones, a senior federal tax analyst from CCH; and James C. Young, an accounting professor from Northern Illinois University. For numerous years now, both the Tax Foundation and the Wall Street Journal group have consistently released to the public very accurate, albeit unofficial, early bird peaks at the following year's projected income tax brackets based on available financial data - well in advance of the official IRS releases. If you're eager to get a head start on tax year 2010, read on.

IRS Tax Rate Schedule Updates For Tax Year 2010

This year, citing a very sluggish economy and extraordinarily low inflation rates for 2009 to which upcoming 2010 tax rates shall be pegged to, the Tax Foundation and associated experts are predicting very little year to year change for the 2010 federal tax brackets. If there's anything good that came out of this global economic recession that has been plaguing us for the entirety of 2009 - it's that the combination of low gas prices, depressed consumer spending, and high jobless numbers with so many people filing for unemployment - have enabled inflation rates to stay quite low during the span of 2009 - at a mere 0.19%. Just compare that to the incredibly high inflation rate of 4.26% during the previous year of 2008 when gas prices were skyrocketing, and it's clear the recent sudden and precipitous drop in inflation has been extremely unprecedented.

As a result of low inflation, for the most part the 2010 tax bracket ranges will likely stay relatively unchanged. As noted by the tax pundits, for the very first time since the IRS started to index the official federal income tax rates to inflation during the mid 1980's, taxpayers will get virtually no significant benefit from inflation in 2010. As such - year 2010 tax brackets, standard deductions, personal exemptions, and even retirement account contribution limits will see very little (if any) alterations from prior year numbers.

I will update the table below to reflect the official IRS tax rates for 2010 if decidedly different numbers are ultimately released by the IRS. However, with tax bracket projections by the experts having enjoyed a near perfect accuracy rate for quite a few years now, I don't have any reason to doubt that the displayed figures below will ultimately wind up as official.

Federal Income Tax Brackets For 2010 - Based On Taxable Income Ranges

Tax Rate
Married Couples Filing Jointly
Most Single Filers
10% Not over $16,750 Not over $8,375
15% $16,750 – $68,000 $8,375 – $34,000
25% $68,000 – $137,300 $34,000 – $82,400
28% $137,300 – $209,250 $82,400 – $171,850
33% $209,250 – $373,650 $171,850 – $373,650
35% Over $373,650 Over $373,650

Beyond some slight numerical shuffling of the taxable income ranges, there will not be too many significant tax changes from 2009 into 2010. Here is a breakdown of the projected changes (if any) for 2010 as they compare to the prior year:

  • Personal Exemption: No change. For the very first time, the standard exemption for 2010 will not be going up and will stay unchanged at $3,650, the same as it was in 2009.
  • Standard Deduction: No change, except for Head Of Household filers. The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly will remain unchanged at $11,400. For those filing as single, the standard deduction will remain at $5,700 as well. However, Head of Household filers will see a slight increase by $50 - from $8,350 (year 2009) to $8,400 (year 2010).
  • Overall Tax Bracket Thresholds: Will increase across the board for all tax filing statuses, albeit at a significantly lower amount compared to past tax year increases.
  • Annual Gift Tax Exclusion Amount: No change. For tax year 2010, the current gift tax exclusion limit of $13,000 will stay the same. Often overlooked by most taxpayers, the gift tax stipulates that gift givers must pay a special tax on gift amounts that exceed a certain amount per year.
  • Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits: No change. Despite the fact that IRA and Roth IRA contribution limits did not rise in 2009 in response to strong inflationary pressures in 2009, there will still be no corresponding change in the maximum contribution limits to individual retirement accounts for 2010. The standard IRA contribution limit for 2010 will remain unchanged at $5,000. The catch up contribution limit for those 50 or older will remain at $6,000 as well.

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436 Responses to “Federal Tax Brackets 2010 | Income Tax Brackets 2010 | Money Blue Book” 

  1. DUDE says:

    I'm tired of paying for the HAVE NOTS........As well as other foreign countries that rely on the United States to spend our money on their issues......We need to stop giving away money to companies that should be out of business....AIG, GM, Golden Sachs......I'm tired of our government taking bribs by big business.........GE, Unions, Golden Sachs, AIG, and others.....We need to follow what thomas jefferson, george washington and the other forefathers written for us.......Our government is written per GODS will.......Im not super religious but they are right we do have God and only Gods will is correct.......Social Justice is communism......Read New World Order...type it in Google as well as Eye on the money....You will see the truth, Yes its correct..........Free America once again from the Greed...We already did it once..(Great Britian) Its time to fight now before we are lost forever........Free America from Socialism....It does not work....It takes your rights away........IN GOD WE TRUST....

  2. KenC says:

    ...I'm also tired about hearing about the "poor" illegals that flood our borders from one of the richest nations in the world and the 3rd richest nation in the Americas. Why should any of our tax $ go to support these illegals? Let their own government take care of them...not only that, but the US then turns around and gives about $100 million (+/-) in foreign aid to Mexico. They get to drill for the VAST oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, along with China and Cuba...and we get to listen to our politicians saying no because we (the most technologically advanced nation in the field of drilling) might spill a couple of barrels of oil in the process...but it's Okay if other countries due it. Does anyone realize that in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, not one drop of oil was spilled from any of the hundreds of US platforms that already exist?

  3. Josh says:

    Last Chance

    If you haven't already, please call your congressman, or ANY Congressman and beg them to defeat this bill.

    20 years from now when this country is a shell of its former self at least you'll be able to look yourself in the mirror and say you tried to stop it instead of just sitting on your ass....

  4. DUDE says:

    I agree KenC,

    To stay on the topic here....My wife and I bought a home which we can afford....Yes ran our credit card up on somethings....Some we needed other thing we did not.........So being the way we were raised both my wife and I sat down an talked.....Hey lets both get part time jobs with our full time jobs to pay our credit card bills.....Wow very smart...We are being proactive on our situation, but we did not look at the whole picture.....We had an ARM which of course went up......Than not paying attention to our total gross before taxes.It put us into the 28% @ only 73,000...Which is not much at all....Plus all the other taxes on cable TV which is a lux item, cell phone, internet, food, gas, cloths water, trsh...Now you are talking 45% taxed, maybe higher......
    Now wee don t have kids so when we do taxes we get screwed........Which I feel is wrong...Because I don t have kids in schools taking up space......Like corportions I cannot right off credit card interest......Driving the car back and forth to work.....I should pay less tax since we don t have children....Why should people be rewarded for having children........Don t get me wrong I have neices and newphews....

    People coming to this country should pay a coming to america tax......It should be 30,000 dollars for each family member....This should be put into the social security which the government always takes money from thats why its always broke....Also to teach these new people to the USA, English....We should make TV programming equal in nature but all be in english......There is nothing wrong with watching multi culture shows.......Just look at All in the Family...It was a great show and made fun of everyone.........Tv now is so lame..........

  5. KenC says:

    DUDE...I disagree that the tax brackets published here are wrong (they are rounded up by about $50 to $100).

    And yes, the government health care plan sucks except for the parasites and I like the FLAT TAX or National Sales Tax program also except the politicians will continually raise the %...but at least everybody will have to pay it...and then the politicians will figure out a way to give money back to the "less fortunate" (please read that to mean...those who have squandered their right to equal opportunity). And yes, the liberal politicians did destroy the housing market by making it "discriminatory" to not qualify someone for a 110% loan simply because they could not afford to be financially viable...yes, politicians abd reverse discrimination suck...bottom line, I love my country but I hate my government!

  6. ATCer says:

    I see the thought on both sides. I see why the lower income individual thinks the higher income individual needs to pay more as I was in that situation while in the Military. Now that I am currently emploied by the FAA my over all taxable income has increased 5 fold pushing me (not counting my wifes income from the 15% tax bracket all the way to the 28% tax bracket almost doubling my percentage and quadrupling my over all tax contribution to the federal government and thats not fun either. However there ins't anything that we can do about it until we have the ability to vote for new governemt. I wonder how many people who have commented forgot to go out and vote when the time required their votes. If you didn't/don't vote you have no room to complain

  7. Britton says:

    The income tax is not technically legal.

    In 1953 researchers preparing for Ohio's 150th State hood anniversary were looking for the original statehood documents. They could not find them. While Congress had approved Ohio's boundaries and constitution, it had never passed a resolution formally admitting the future land of the Buckeyes. Technically, therefore, Ohio wasn't a state.

    Ohio congressman George Bender introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union retroactive to March 1, 1803. At a special session at the old state capital in Chillicothe, the Ohio state legislature approved a new petition for statehood that was delivered to Washington. Congress subsequently passed a joint resolution, and President Eisenhower signed it on August 7, 1953.

    The constitution says the Congress shall make no ex post facto law. In simple terms this means you cannot pass retroactive laws (not just in criminal matters). This means no retroactive admissions to statehood.

    The proposed amendment had been introduced to Congress by the administration of William H. Taft. Taft had been born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1857. The Constitution requires that presidents be natural-born citizens of the United States. Since Ohio wasn't a state in 1857, Taft wasn't a natural-born citizen, couldn't legally be president, and couldn't legally introduce the 16th Amendment.

  8. Hard work not paying off anymore says:

    I am right now in the 15 % tax bracket. In the next 2 and a half years I will double my income which will put me in the 25 % tax bracket. So after all my hard work putting myself through school my reward is the government taking a quarter of my income. Not counting all the other taxes like sales tax, property tax and so on. If you do the math my 30,000 dollar raise a year will equal 13,000 dollar take home. That is very depressing. Hard work is paying off no more. Anyone who says you should tax the rich more has no clue how hard someone works to become "wealthy". Those are the people that would rather be lazy, have 5 kids out of wed lock and collect my hard earned money.

  9. KenC says:

    Lisa...thank you...well said and a perfect example!

  10. Ryan says:

    I am happy working in construction my dad did it his dad did it. I think we need construction workers just like we need teachers to teach us our trade and we should all be paid fairly just like if we have to have taxes we should be taxed fairly and if you thank its ok for some rich familys to fraud the world with there undercover monopolys and send allot of or careers overseas and you happen to be that percent of america that still have a career to go with that degree, again theres more people than careers/jobs so some of us have no choice but to do our part like build homes, teach and such, the rich set the laws, and we are all complaining and crying because allot of careers are under paid and i hope you all know about hidden tax,what do yoy thini happens when fiat currency is being printed our should i say borrowed from the rich family which the irs is almost like the collectors for these rich familys any ways if i dont make sence to you check out infowars. i dont beleive every thing i read, im all about the facts, well thats enough ranting for now. Ps josh you are so clueless and lmfao if you want to spel check me and(( to everyone else wake up you deserve some of the profits from all that bread you make in the bakery your not a slave if the rich man that owns the bakery wants all the profits himselfthe he should do it him self we are all important lets see mcdonalds make all that money with out there slaves. Oh ya here aresome of my replys to opposers... Monopoly, mob rule, 51% Of voters take the rights of the other half of the voters, your case is unique and dont fall under the avreage case of usa populace, you were probably made fun of in school now you bragging about what you have what was you real ambision to push through the line to get the job before the other guy had to put his master degree in the file cabinet becaue the only job available after graduating would of not hired him because he is over qualified hope you dont get laid off because i wont be hiring you, but your probably greedy anyway and to good for us servants but anyways there not hiring many ceos last time i checked so do you happen to have a bread factory i can work in i work for min wage. Retoricle

  11. Josh says:

    Ryan....well said

  12. hugh says:

    Most of you people are complete inbreds.

    This country is going to hell in a hand basket in part due to government, but in larger measure because of the lack of education of most Americans.

    Sweden looks really good right about now

  13. DUDE says:

    Hugh I think the most that is missing in America is Common Sense and respect......

    Now what you are seeing in America is GREED........Has anybody read Dante's Inferno...The 7 sevens.......That"s our government........Now add more socialism to the mix and the break down of our nuc program we are a target that is wide open....

    All the issues you are seeing is what our fathers of the con fought over.....We need to fight for our freedom again.......Remeber Freedom is not free...........

  14. Manny says:

    I find the idea of a progressive tax system attractive. However what we have is not a progressive system it is a bracketed system. And yes if you are in a position where you see that if you work harder and make a couple more bucks. You shoot yourself in the foot by jumping bracket. why bother working harder?

    So I see that this bracketed system coupled with the fact that my wife would be in a lower bracket if we didn't file jointly means that I have been paying too much taxes. Maybe she should stay home taking care of the kids and save on daycare.

    Am I wrong?

  15. Dave says:

    Reading some of the comments above really show the divide in our country. Bottom line we are taxed to death. The poor cry that the Rich are not paying there fair share? Really??? The Rich are paying 100x to 10000x what the poor are paying. In some instances with deductions people making under 50k a year for a family of four pay nothing to federal income tax. So tell me what do the rich get out of paying all this extra tax? Does their vote count more? Nope! Do they get any speacial governement perks? Nope!
    Bottom line is the taxation system is terrible because it punishes people for trying to get ahead.

    The problem really is the poor. The poor have opportunity and for the most part the blow it. Public Education is free. We have so many safety nets that people just live off them.
    Here is a good way to solve the problem. Stop the poor people from having children when they can't afford to feed themselves. Until we regulate the poor from popping out multiple children that they can't afford our system will remain broken.

  16. John T. says:

    I believe ANY form of taxation that we can muster up would be better that what we've got now. It's a complete joke and travesty. It is LIVING PROOF that the more government gets involved in it, anything, the more screwed up it becomes. I mean, come on, how much time, resources, and ESPECIALLY money is wasted just trying to comply with the darn thing, year after year after year. We could put that money towards infinitely more important things..............................oh say...........................like HEALTHCARE.!?!?!?

    I used to be purely a "flat tax" guy, but now I hafta admit, I'm torn. This "FairTax" idea they've got floating around has me intrigued. It seems the fairtax could simultaneously solve other bigger problems as well. With a FLAT TAX, you still would have the problem of the "free ride" of the "underground economy". That is, No taxes being paid by the drug dealers, illegals, etc. , just to name a few. Not so with the "FAIRTAX". If you want to "live like a king", whether you're here legally or illegally, whether you made YOUR MONEY legally or illegally, then you'd have to pay up. period. Government CAN never nor WILL never "fix" peoples' hearts and lives, but what it CAN DO through a "fairtax" is at least make sure they "contribute" to the "betterment" of society, through the higher taxes they would pay for the more extravagant lifestyles they would surely choose. It seems this "fairtax" could IMMEDIATELY bring in exactly what they're crying for in Washington: more money. It would, in a sense, REWARD the "savers" in our society (as well they SHOULD be).

    But somehow (I don't know why), I think the general public would more easily go for the FLAT TAX than the "FAIR TAX". I think if given the choice they would see the "FAIRTAX" as 'too much' of a drastic change to their everyday lives. After it (fairtax) was implemented, they would be more confused on "why has everything gone UP so much?". I could be wrong.

    I'm thinking even with a FLAT TAX or the "FairTax" we would STILL hear the constant cries of (some) liberals, saying how it STILL isn't "fair".

  17. Josh says:

    So what's up with posts just disappearing? If this Blog starts getting censored, I'm out.

  18. DOUBLE NICKEL says:

    I think that if you are rich you should not be taxed. Why? because you worked hard for that money while the rest of the country sat there in class not paying attention and not wanting to better themselves. Thank God for capitalism because other wise we would have all these people that are whining about not making enough money and saying that the rich need to get taxed more running our companies and the economy. Why do you think you dont make enough money? perhaps because you never cared to lift a finger and do something about it. Nobody in this world ever started out rich and stayed rich. it takes hard work and determination to make money. The rich are rich and youre not for a reason, and im guessing that reason is 100% your fault so stop saying that the rich need to be taxed heavier, thats just plain jealousy. A flat rate is the fair way to go. or how about this if the rich get taxed more then they get to drive on their own special highways and they get to send their kids to better public schools? or just because youre poor you have to send your kid to a poor school regardless of where you live? Seems fair right? at least thats how the tax system now operates so why not make everything that way? if you want change and you dont want to be poor stop whining and do something about it, like get better grades in school, dont do drugs in school, dont whine so much and maybe people will like you better. i dont know those are just some ideas to all you whiners. let me guess you whine because you dont know what else to do and probably havent had the extensive economical and legal background to know any better. my point exactly, go to school get a job and move up in life. STOP WHINING ABOUT THE RICH!!! THEY ARE LIKE THAT FOR A REASON!!!

  19. DOUBLE NICKEL says:

    RYAN maybe if you could read and write "good" (its well by the way in case you didnt get the joke) you would know that the rich dont set the laws, this is America you get as much say as any rich person does, you just have to know how to say it and by the looks of it, you aint gonna cut it friend, so why dont you stick to your job and thank God you have one, and let people who know what they are talking about deal with our tax system.

  20. Irish says:

    To be fair, Democrats should pay a surtax of 10%. We should tax those who do nothing and only suck off the hard work of others.
    We can use the extra money to have work-study programs for Democrats since they neither understand work nor how goods and services are brought to the marketplace. They are a bunch of slow learners and thus need more educatation than most.

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