Estimate your tax bracket

Having a rough idea of your tax bracket can help you estimate the tax impact of major financial decisions.

Have you ever been asked for your approximate tax bracket by an advisor, attorney, financial provider, or even a Fidelity representative? Knowing your tax bracket can be useful in many scenarios, including when you open new accounts.

While your tax bracket won't tell you exactly how much you'll pay in taxes, it can help you assess the tax impact of financial decisions. For instance, if you're in the 35% tax bracket, you could save 35 cents in federal tax for every dollar spent on a tax-deductible expense, such as mortgage interest or charity.

Marginal tax rate: Your tax bracket explained

A common misconception is that your marginal tax rate is the rate at which your entire income is taxed. So someone in the 35% tax bracket pays 35% in taxes.

In actuality, income is taxed in tiers. When your income reaches a different tier, that portion of your income is taxed at a new rate. Your marginal tax rate or tax bracket refers only to your highest tax rate—the last tax rate your income is subject to. For example, in 2018, a single filer with taxable income of $100,000 willl pay $18,289 in tax, or an average tax rate of 18%. But your marginal tax rate or tax bracket is actually 24%.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced several of the marginal income tax rates.

Single Filing Status
2017 2018
Income Tax Bracket Income Tax Bracket
$9,325 10% $9,525 10%
$37,950 15% $38,700 12%
$91,900 25% $82,500 22%
$191,650 28% $157,500 24%
$416,700 33% $200,000 32%
$418,400 35% $500,000 35%
$418,400+ 39.6% $500,000+ 37%
Married Filing Jointly
2017 2018
Income Tax Bracket Income Tax Bracket
$18,650 10% $19,050 10%
$75,900 15% $77,400 12%
$153,100 25% $165,000 22%
$233,350 28% $315,000 24%
$416,700 33% $400,000 32%
$470,700 35% $600,000 35%
$470,700+ 39.6% $600,000+ 37%
Married Filing Separately
2017 2018
Income Tax Bracket Income Tax Bracket
$9,325 10% $9,525 10%
$37,950 15% $38,700 12%
$76,550 25% $82,500 22%
$116,675 28% $157,500 24%
$208,350 33% $200,000 32%
$235,350 35% $300,000 35%
$235,350+ 39.6% $300,000+ 37%
Filing as Head of Household
2017 2018
Income Tax Bracket Income Tax Bracket
$13,350 10% $13,600 10%
$50,800 15% $51,800 12%
$131,200 25% $82,500 22%
$212,500 28% $157,500 24%
$416,700 33% $200,000 32%
$444,500 35% $500,000 35%
$444,500+ 39.6% $500,000+ 37%

Estimating taxable income

Since your tax bracket is based on taxable income, it's important to have an estimate of your income.

Start with your last filing. You can then adjust your income based on any anticipated changes.

You can find your taxable income on:

  • Line 43, if you filed Form 1040.
  • Line 27, if you filed Form 1040A.
  • Line 6, if you filed Form 1040EZ.

Additional resources

Tax Topics for Investors
Learn about some of the tax topics that affect Fidelity customers the most.

Tax resources

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