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 2021, a single filer with taxable income of $100,000 will pay $18,021 in tax, or an average tax rate of 18%. But your marginal tax rate or tax bracket is actually 24%.

Single Filing Status
Income Tax Bracket
$9,950 10%
$40,525 12%
$86,375 22%
$164,925 24%
$209,425 32%
$523,600 35%
$523,601+ 37%
Married Filing Jointly
Income Tax Bracket
$19,900 10%
$81,050 12%
$172,750 22%
$329,850 24%
$418,850 32%
$628,300 35%
$628,301+ 37%
Married Filing Separately
Income Tax Bracket
$9,950 10%
$40,525 12%
$86,375 22%
$164,925 24%
$209,425 32%
$314,150 35%
$314,151+ 37%
Filing as Head of Household
Income Tax Bracket
$14,200 10%
$54,200 12%
$86,350 22%
$164,900 24%
$209,400 32%
$523,600 35%
$523,601+ 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 10 of your Form 1040.

Additional resources

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