Adjust your withholdings
Did you get a big refund or were surprised by the amount of additional tax you owed the IRS? If you answered yes to either question, adjusting your withholdings may help. The number of withholdings you recorded on your Form W-4 with your employer determines how much tax is withheld from each paycheck. If you have not seen a Form W-4 since the day you were hired or since the last tax year, you should check out the IRS withholding calculator .
Finally, do not confuse withholding allowances on the Form W-4 with exemptions. An exemption is a deduction received for yourself and if applicable your spouse and dependents. In short, it is a deduction that reduces the amount of taxes owed. The exemption amount varies each tax year.
Marginal Tax Rate
Your marginal tax rate is the tax bracket your last dollar of taxable income falls in.
For example, for 2012, if your filing status is single and your taxable income is $40,000; the taxes owed would be calculated as follows:
- The first $8,700 would be taxed at 10%
- The amount falling between $8,700 to $35,350 would be taxed at 15%
- The remaining amount would be taxed at 25%.
The last dollars fall in the 25% marginal tax bracket rate, therefore the marginal tax rate for this taxpayer is 25%.
|Single Filing Status for 2012|
|Taxable Income/Marginal Tax Bracket||Marginal Tax Bracket Rate|
|$0 to $8,700||10%|
|$8,700 to $35,350||15%|
|$35,350 to $85,650||25%|
|$85,650 to $178,650||28%|
|$178,650 to $388,350||33%|
|$388,350 and above||35%|
Tax Rate Schedules:
- 2012 Tax Rate Schedule (page 105)
You can also use an Online Marginal Tax Rate Calculator. (Tip: Wait for the calculator to load completely.)