It's never too early to start thinking about your next tax return. For most Americans, that'll be your federal tax return for the 2020 tax year — which, by the way, will be due on April 15, 2021 (or October 15, 2021, if extended). The 2020 tax rates themselves are the same as the rates in effect for the 2019 tax year: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%. However, as they are every year, the 2020 tax brackets were adjusted to account for inflation. That means you could wind up in a different tax bracket when you file your 2020 return than the bracket you were in before – which also means you'll be paying a different tax rate on some of your income.SEE MORE Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year
The tax bracket ranges also differ depending on your filing status. For example, the 22% tax bracket for the 2020 tax year goes from $40,126 to $85,525 for single taxpayers, but it starts at $53,701 and ends at $85,500 for head-of-household filers.
The difference between bracket ranges sometimes creates a "marriage penalty." This tax-law twist makes certain married couples filing a joint return — typically, where the spouses' incomes are similar — pay more tax than they would if they were single. The penalty is triggered when, for any given rate, the minimum taxable income for the joint filers' tax bracket is less than twice the minimum amount for the single filers' bracket. Before the 2017 tax reform law, this happened in the four highest tax brackets. But now, as you can see in the tables below, only the top tax bracket contains the marriage penalty trap. As a result, only couples with a combined taxable income over $622,050 are at risk when filing their 2020 federal tax return. (Note that the tax brackets for your state's income tax could contain a marriage penalty.)2020 Tax Brackets for Single Filers and Married Couples Filing Jointly Tax RateTaxable Income
(Single) Taxable Income
(Married Filing Jointly) 10% Up to $9,875 Up to $19,750 12% $9,876 to $40,125 $19,751 to $80,250 22% $40,126 to $85,525 $80,251 to $171,050 24% $85,526 to $163,300 $171,051 to $326,600 32% $163,301 to $207,350 $326,601 to $414,700 35% $207,351 to $518,400 $414,701 to $622,050 37% Over $518,400 Over $622,050 2020 Tax Brackets for Married Couples Fili