IRS criminal unit stops $10 billion in tax fraud despite steep drop in staff
Standard & itemized tax deductions for the 2019 tax year

2019 income tax rates and brackets adjusted for inflation

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This is the first in a 10-part series on the upcoming 2019 tax year inflation adjustments. Links to additional tax-related inflation changes for next tax year are at this end of this article.

It's the most wonderful time of the year. And while, confession time, I have been watching a lot of Hallmark holiday movies, I'm talking today about the overlap of one tax year and the approaching one.

As the annual count of days winds down, we taxpayers must pay attention to ways to cut our current tax year's bill as well as make some initial plans to keep the Internal Revenue Service out of our pockets in the coming tax year.

One of the major planning tools in this regard are the annual inflation adjustments of tax-affected amounts. Today is our lucky day.

Numbers, we've got lots o' numbers: The IRS has handed us this tax tool via the just-issued 2019 tax year inflation adjustments for more than 60 tax provisions.

A quick note that I want to make clear in your excitement about these new figures: The tax year 2019 adjustments generally are used on tax returns filed in 2020.

So while it's good for planning purposes to have this information, it won't help come January 2019 when you file your 2018 tax year return.

My advice, then, is to note this post — and the nine others on this topic that will follow — and perhaps bookmark it. That way, when it comes time next year to make some tax decisions, you can come back and recheck the dollar limits for 2019.

As noted by the IRS, the inflation info in its official Revenue Procedure 2018-57 covers more than 60 tax situations, some of them new or changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

I know a lot of places dump all the data in one document, essentially a touched-up version of the Revenue Procedure. Me, I like to savor each tax portion. That's why each year I do a tax inflation adjustment series.

So that it doesn't stretch out too long, it's a 10-parter, with one post on key inflation changes for 10 days, including Saturday and Sunday. (You can get an idea of what's coming by checking last year's version, which kind of got messed up was annotated thanks to changes in the passed-late-in-the-year tax reform bill.)

The 2019 series kicks off now, with Part 1 focusing on what, to most filers, it the most important change each year — the income tax rates and just how much of our earnings falls into each of these brackets.

Here goes!

2019 still has (for now) 7 tax brackets: The aforementioned TCJA kept the number of tax rates at seven, but lowered most of them.

That's still the same for 2019, despite some vague promises before the recent midterm elections for another 10 percent middle-class tax cut.

The table below shows what the rates are for 2019 and what income amounts fall into those tax brackets.

2019 tax rates and income brackets
USE THESE TAX RATES AND INCOME BRACKETS 
WHEN COMPLETING YOUR 2019 TAX RETURN TO BE FILED IN 2020.

 Tax
 Rate

 Single

 Head of
 Household

 Married Filing 
 Jointly or
 Surviving Spouse

 Married
 Filing
 Separately

 10%

 Up to $9,700

 Up to $13,850

 Up to $19,400

 Up to $9,700

 12%

 $9,701 to 
 $39,475

 $13,851 to 
 $52,850

 $19,401 to
 $78,950

 $9,701 to
 $39,475

 22%

 $39,476 to 
 $84,200

 $52,851 to
 $84,200

 $78,951 to
 $168,400

 $39,476 to
 $84,200

 24%

 $84,201 to 
 $160,725

 $84,201 to
 $160,700

 $168,401 to
 $321,450

 $84,201 to
 $160,725

 32%

 $160,726 to
 $204,100

 $160,701 to
 $204,100

 $321,451 to
 $408,200

 $160,726 to
 $204,100

 35%

 $204,101 to
 $510,300

 $204,101 to
 $510,300

 $408,201 to
 $612,350

 $204,101 to
 $306,175

 37%

 $510,301 
 or more

 $510,301
 or more

 $612,351
 or more

 $306,176 
 or more


The above income ranges and at what level they'll be taxed are important as we make tax moves and plans related to the coming 2019 tax year.

However, as I said earlier and want to repeat now, do not — DO NOT — use the above table for filing your 2018 tax return next year. It's for 2019 taxes that will be filed in 2020.

For your 2018 taxes and comparison of how they'll change next year, use the 2018 tax rates and income brackets shown in the table below:

2018 tax rates and income brackets
USE THESE TAX RATES AND INCOME BRACKETS 
WHEN COMPLETING YOUR 2018 TAX RETURN TO BE FILED IN 2019.

 Tax
 Rate

 Single

 Head of
 Household

 Married Filing
 Jointly or 
 Surviving
 Spouse

 Married 
 Filing
 Separately

 10%

 Up to $9,525

 Up to $13,600

 Up to $19,050

 Up to $9,525

 12%

 $9,526 to
 $38,700

 $13,601 to
 $51,800

 $19,051 to
 $77,400

 $9,526 to
 $38,700

 22%

 $38,701 to
 $82,500

 $51,801 to
 $82,500

 $77,401 to
 $165,000

 $38,701 to
 $82,500

 24%

 $82,501 to
 $157,500

 $82,501 to
 $157,500

 $165,001 to
 $315,000

 $82,501 to
 $157,500

 32%

 $157,501 to
 $200,000

 $157,501 to
 $200,000

 $315,001 to
 $400,000

 $157,501 to
 $200,000

 35%

 $200,001 to
 $500,000

 $200,001 to
 $500,000

 $400,001 to
 $600,000

 $200,001 to
 $300,000

 37%

 $500,001
 or more

 $500,001
 or more

 $600,001
 or more

 $300,001
 or more


If you just haven't had enough tax numbers, you also can check out the ol' blog's special page lets you look back at tax rates and income brackets through the years.

More inflation figures on the way: Enjoy the 2019, 2018 and past year tax rate tables today. I'll be back tomorrow (and the ensuing days) with more inflation adjusted tax changes for next tax year.

You can get a preview of what's coming down the ol' blog road in the 2019 tax year inflation series directory below.

The next topic is the standard deduction amounts that were greatly increased under the new tax law. It's not too much of a spoiler to say those amounts, like the income brackets in today's 2019 inflation series opener, will be bumped up a bit, too.

  1. 2019 tax rates and income brackets
  2. Standard deduction, personal exemptions and itemized deduction limits
  3. Retirement, pension plan contribution limits
  4. Credits and deductions, including adoption costs and assistance, Lifetime Learning Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, educators' expenses, interest on education loans and transportation fringe benefits
  5. Medical-related tax provisions, including contributions to a flexible spending account, health savings account, medical savings account, eligible long-term care premiums and the Affordable Care Act minimal essential coverage penalty
  6. Estate and gift tax limits, kiddie tax
  7. Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amounts and 2019 Social Security wage base
  8. International worker tax issues (foreign income, housing exclusions)
  9. Penalties, for both individuals and tax pros, for things such as failure to file a timely 1040 or certain information returns
  10. Standard mileage deduction (issued separately, and later, by the IRS)

As I get these additional inflation related items posted over the next few days, I'll put the links in above (like the one to this tax brackets post, as well as retirement amounts that the IRS issued separately on Nov. 1 and the increased Social Security wage base) so this first in the series will serve as an index and directory for the 2019 adjusted amounts.

The beginning of this annual series also earns it early honors this week as the Saturday Shout Out piece and By the Numbers figure, since instead of updating those standing blog features this coming weekend, I'll be posting new 2019 inflation data to fill out the above directory.

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