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Your 2022 Tax Brackets vs. 2021 Tax Brackets

The income ranges, adjusted annually for inflation, determine which tax rates apply to you

by John Waggoner, AARP, Updated November 10, 2021

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En español 

You may be making plans for filing your 2021 income taxes, but in a few short weeks you’ll be living in tax year 2022, and tax year 2022 will differ substantially from 2021. Your tax brackets will be slightly higher, for example, as will your standard deduction.

There is still time to reduce your 2021 tax bill, but for many deductions, the door slams shut on Dec. 31. If it looks like you’ll get a big bill on your 2021 taxes, knowing the tax brackets for 2022 can help you make adjustments in the New Year so you don’t get stung again. 

How the brackets work

In the American tax system, income tax rates are graduated, so you pay different rates on different amounts of taxable income, called tax brackets. There are seven tax brackets in all. The more you make, the more you pay. For example, a single taxpayer will pay 10 percent on taxable income up to $9,950 earned in 2021. The top tax rate for individuals is 37 percent for taxable income above $523,600 for tax year 2021. 

The Internal Revenue Service increases those brackets from year to year to account for inflation and reduce “bracket creep,” when taxpayers get pushed into higher tax brackets, not because they earned more money but because of rising inflation. In tax year 2020, for example, a single person with taxable income up to $9,875 paid 10 percent, while in 2021, that income bracket rose to $9,950. Similarly, brackets for income earned in 2022 have been adjusted upward as well.

Tax brackets for income earned in 2022

  • 37% for incomes over $539,900 ($647,850 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 35% for incomes over $215,950 ($431,900 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 32% for incomes over $170,050 ($340,100 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 24% for incomes over $89,075 ($178,150 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 22% for incomes over $41,775 ($83,550 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 12% for incomes over $10,275 ($20,550 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 10% for incomes of $10,275 or less ($20,550 for married couples filing jointly

Married filing separately pay at same rate as unmarried. Source: Internal Revenue Service

Tax brackets for income earned in 2021

  • 37% for incomes over $523,600 ($628,300 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 35% for incomes over $209,425 ($418,850 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 32% for incomes over $164,925 ($329,850 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 24% for incomes over $86,375 ($172,750 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 22% for incomes over $40,525 ($81,050 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 12% for incomes over $9,950 ($19,900 for married couples filing jointly)
  • 10% for incomes up to $9,950 ($19,900 for married couples filing jointly)

Married filing separately pay at same rate as unmarried. Source: Internal Revenue Service

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