A tax bracket is a range of income that is taxed at a specific rate.
In the United States there are six brackets, taxed at 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35% of the amount that falls into each bracket.
For example, if your taxable income was high enough to cross three brackets, you'd pay tax at the 10% rate on income in the lowest bracket, at the 15% rate on income in the next bracket, and at the 25% rate on the rest.
The rates remain fixed until they are changed by Congress, but the dollar amounts in each bracket change slightly each year to adjust for inflation.
In addition, the income that falls into each bracket varies by filing status, so that if you file as a single taxpayer you may owe more tax on the same taxable income as a married couple filing a joint return.
- Browse Related Terms: Effective tax rate, flat tax, Marginal tax rate, Private letter ruling, Progressive tax, Regressive tax, Tax bracket