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A Look at the 2009 Federal Income Tax Brackets

By JLP | January 9, 2009

Here’s a quick look at the 2009 Federal Income Tax Brackets along with a comparison to 2008. Not a lot of changes.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Source: Wall Street Journal

The standard deduction will increase to $11,400 from $10,900 for joint filers ($5,700 from $5,450 for single filers). The personal exemption for 2009 is $3,650* but is phased out at higher income levels.

The Social Security wage base moved up to $106,800 from $102,000&#151meaning, any income over $106,800 is not taxed for Social Security. It also means that the maximum a person will pay into Social Security is now $6,622.

*According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers 2009 Guide to Tax and Financial Planning

Topics: Tax Planning, Taxes | 16 Comments »


16 Responses to “A Look at the 2009 Federal Income Tax Brackets”

  1. BD Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Wow, this must be that much-maligned “marriage penalty” thing. I never got it until now.

    I always thought that the income levels for married filing jointly = 2x the income levels for single. What are the tax implications if you decide to file separately?

    It sucks that a single man and woman each earning $80K pay 25% marginal rate while single, but 28% if married to each other.

  2. thomas Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    My deduction jumps a couple hundred but the range goes several thousand. Yippee.

  3. Ed Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I wonder what the time line would be if Obama/congress removed the cap on Social Security income taxes. Would it be 2010 or could they wipe out the cap this year?

  4. JR Middlebrook Says:
    January 11th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Use your tax return and be the first in your family to remove bad credit history, visit http://www.credit-report-repair.us

  5. Kitty Says:
    January 11th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    “It sucks that a single man and woman each earning $80K pay 25% marginal rate while single, but 28% if married to each other.”
    Married people normally live together. The cost of a two bedroom is not twice that of a one bedroom, it’s much less. The cost of utilities and such is also far from the double. Since housing is the main expense, it’s cheaper when two people live together than when one person lives alone.

    Sure, there are singles who live together e.g. with boyfriend. But these aren’t the majority at least not long term: with few exceptions they either marry or split up. At any rate marriage is a choice. But the expenses of singles living alone are a lot more than half of the expenses of couples. The tax brackets reflect that.

    I am sick of married people complaining about marriage penalty. It’s not a penalty it’s a simple reflection of a fact that living alone is expensive.

  6. Metatrader ea Says:
    January 12th, 2009 at 3:02 am

    “Married people normally live together. The cost of a two bedroom is not twice that of a one bedroom, it’s much less. The cost of utilities and such is also far from the double. Since housing is the main expense, it’s cheaper when two people live together than when one person lives alone.”

    You are absolutely right. There are plenty of examples showing that living together costs less in this sense.

  7. Jon Says:
    January 12th, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Kitty,

    The marriage penalty stems from the days when most couples had a single earner. It wasn’t a penalty then, it was a bonus.

    If a man earns $130k/year and is single, he’s in the 28% bracket. If he’s married, he’s still in the 25%.

    The idea is that married people have MORE expenses than single people — kids, house vs. apartment, higher importance of savings, etc. That’s still true, and tax law will (or should) eventually change to take dual income families into account.

  8. Kitty Says:
    January 12th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    “The idea is that married people have MORE expenses than single people — kids, house vs. apartment, higher importance of savings, etc. ”

    There are married couple with kids, but there are also childless couples, there are also single mothers or divorced parents. Why should the tax code “assume” that all couples have kids? Kids are part of a different section of tax code – extra exemption, child credit, etc.

    House is not a necessity. Yes, married couple prefer houses, so do some singles who can afford it. But a childless marreid couple can easily fit in a two bedroom, a married couple with two children in a three bedroom apartment. Even a three bedroom apartment costs much less than 2*cost of a one bedroom.

    Savings are important for singles as well: if one person in a couple lost a job, another person may still be employed and provide income and health insurance. If a single person loses a job, a single person has nothing.

    “That’s still true, and tax law will (or should) eventually change to take dual income families into account.”
    It should also reflect the fact that it’s more expensive to live alone.

  9. Philip Says:
    January 13th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    As a single person that has a house I often wonder why there are bigger deductions for the married couple for owning a house even if it were the same exact house as I have. In particular I recall recently that you could get an automatic $1000 married or $500 single deduction if you own a house over the standard deduction, how is this fair to us?

  10. filthy rich w/ no taxes! Says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    taxing people more for being maried is absolutely no different than taxing people more for any other stupid reason – such as race or color of their car. income taxes should be based on ‘income’ not your marital status

    why isn’t there are ‘marriage’ penalty on the $500/$1000 gift from the middle class to non-workers? $500 / person if single and only $400/person if married if it’s such a great idea?

    oh, i forgot – those that get the $500 don’t do an ounce of work anyway. silly me, socialism is for socialist like Kitty

  11. filthy rich w/ no taxes! Says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    i would have loved to be philip’s real estate agent! yes, philip, if you are married the gratuitous fed govt gives you a much larger deduction if you are married and a home owner than if you are a single home owner. you see, the feds believe that only married people should own a house and there is a great conspiracy to keep single people from owning them – it’s in the tax code, look it up.

    if you need any help with some financial planning (or logic counseling or plain reading tutorials)i have a program just for you! of course you must send your monsy up front to : 100 i am stupid, NY,NY 123456)

  12. Muawiyah Says:
    March 5th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Obviously there are so many problems in making the personal income tax equitable the only solution is to ABOLISH IT.

  13. Ken Says:
    March 6th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Kitty – Do you assume that both married people earn an income or assume that it is 50/50 (if one or the other earns anything whether they can be taxed on it or not – they must file – so how do you plead. Married people generally carry more expenses, homes, life insurance, health insurance, daycare, college planning etc.. Single people do not – I was single for a long time – and I can tell you – there are things that single people just do not give a flying flip about – because it only affects them.
    taxes should be equally disbersed no matter what your marital status.
    Welsome to the United Socialistic States of America – since the United States of America – and requiring responsibility of people created the most prosperous and most powerful nation in the history of the world – it obviously needed to be changed to more appropriately be like the third world – which by the way would rather be as prosperous as we had once been…

  14. Mark Says:
    March 11th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I MADE $11,200 IN 2008. (Eleven Thousand, Two Hundred) … What is UP with figures like $250,000 a year a million a month, 120 million per quarter ?? I still get taxed… the ex, took my daughter 17 years ago and I have not seen her since… she gets a $4000 tax break EVERY year and I get PENALTY and INTEREST on the taxes I owe which are over $10,000. I also have a student loan of over $35,000 although I only borrowed $12,700 total and paid back $18,000… but strangely enough, I owe 4 times as much as I borrowed… THAT’S what happens when the courts take a father’s only child away when he is in college trying to earn his degree, and working on top of that… Can’t ANYBODY here just offer me a job that pays $160,000 for one year on which I could pay $40,000 in taxes and pay $80,0000 to get EVEN with the system. I was just born 42 years ago… I have been in debt, enslaved from BIRTH. I never had a break and now, my debt is rising FASTER than I could EVER pay it off… I am better off dead because too many people have their hands in the honey pot !! — If I made a million bucks a year and paid 75% in taxes, I would still have a whopping quarter million a year left over. Here’s where it hurst someone like me who makes $10,000 a year and has the IRS take money out of my check. What a JOKE this UNITED STATES has become !! Tell me how any living thing, Dog, cat, human… could live on minimum wage 35×7.15/hr — What is WRONG with the tax system?? Expanding the bracket is not the answer. I’d say: anything under $20,000 EXEMPT. $20-50,000 10% 50-99,999 20% 99,999-249,999 30% 250,000-499,999 40% 500,000-999,999 50% 1,000,000-2,499,999 60% 2,500,000-9,999,999 70% 10,000,000-24,999,999 80% 25,000,000-49,999,999 90% and 99% for any GREEDY, Non-patriotic, rip off a poor person person making over 50,000,000.00 ~~~~ WHAT is UP with those numbers ?? People don’t need more than 20 bucks a week for groceries !! — I know this: I only have 20 bucks to spend a week and I am STILL ALIVE !! (and NOT overweight, either) … my rent is $400 a month. I live in a dump. WELCOME TO AMERICA !! Now it’s almost time for me to pay the IRS what I owe them which is $600 bucks this year. TAX ME SOME MORE PLEASE, I have 5 bucks in my wallet !!

  15. Patrick Mackondy Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    When will the new tax law for seniors making less than $50,000 go into effect. I am paying estimated tax based on 2008 tax laws, but under the new tax laws, I will not have to pay taxes.
    and..will this be based on net taxable income or
    gross income?

    Please advise..

    PAT M

  16. Bill Says:
    September 13th, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Kitty,
    You’re a typical liberal idiot.
    You’re so focused on equalization of results that you can’t see the inherent unfairness of the marriage penalty. I say, if two can live more cheaply than one, they should be allowed to benefit from that — not have it taxed away.

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