Income Tax Estimator
Federal tax rates in the United States range from 10% to almost 40%. All but 9 U.S. states charge some additional income tax, which can be as high as California's 13.3% (on individual income in excess of one million dollars per year). Use the calculator below to estimate your total tax burden.
About This Calculation
This estimate is based on 2016 tax rates. It is meant primarily to demonstrate the significance of where people live on their income tax liabilities and the rough breakdown of where income tax revenue goes. This is only an estimate and does not include every tax obligation, such as local taxes or capital gains, nor does it account for deductibles such as dependents, disabilities, etc. There are many factors that can influence your unique tax situation. Check with a tax professional to figure out the exact amount of taxes you'll owe.
About Income Tax
The average U.S. worker faces a burden of almost ⅓ their total income if you include the employer paid payroll tax. It may be tempting to not think about the employer paid taxes as your taxes, but the truth is it matters very little whether the tax is levied against the worker or the employer. It just makes the employee more expensive for the employer to hire drives down that employee’s wages, possibly enough to completely offset the tax. The U.S. has one of the most complex tax codes in the world. We’ll discuss each of the major components of income tax in The United States.
Federal Income Tax
Income in The United States wasn’t federally taxed until the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913. That year, the bottom tax rate was only 1% and the top bracket only 7% on income over $500,000 (over $12 million today). It fluctuated up and down over the years, rising as high as 23% and 94% for the bottom and top brackets respectively toward the end of World War II. Today’s federal income tax rates are between 10% and 39.6% and make up about 41% of total federal government receipts each year.
Social Security and Medicare Payroll Tax
Payroll tax is the federal government’s second largest source of funding, losing to income tax by only a hair. Payroll taxes make up about 40% of total federal receipts. One interesting fact about payroll tax: It’s incredibly regressive. Social security contributions, which make up the majority of payroll taxes, are only withheld from your first $118,500 (2016) of taxable earnings. This gives many middle-class workers an effective payroll tax rate of around 10%, while the top 1% pay around 2% of their income to payroll taxes. The argument for this is that social security is more of a forced wage insurance policy for older adults than an actual tax. Social Security benefits are also capped at a fairly low amount relative to what the top 1% might be used to.
State Income Tax
The bulk of most people’s income tax burden comes from federal taxes, but state income taxes aren’t something to overlook. They can range for 0% (Alaska, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, Texas, and Florida) to California’s 13.3% on income over $1 million (including the 1% mental health services tax). In addition the the states just mentioned with no individual income tax, Tennessee and New Hampshire only tax interest and dividend income. Not many people have to worry about getting hit with California’s 13.3% rate, but middle-class workers should pay close attention to income tax rates in addition to sales tax, property tax and general cost of living before moving to another state, and may even want to consider whether or not they should stay in the state they’re in.
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