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Income Tax 2011

2011 Federal Individual Income Tax Rates, Deductions and Exemptions

Tax return due: April 17, 2012, unless you file an extension with form 4868 by October 15, 2012.

You have to pay federal income tax and on top of that state and local income tax in most states. Your tax bracket depends upon your income and your tax-filing classification.

There are six federal income tax brackets (ranging from 10% to 35%), the brackets per state vary. There are five classifications: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Qualified Widow or Widower, Married Filing Separately, and Head of Household.

2011 Individual Federal Income Brackets and Tax Rates

Marginal
Tax Rate
Single Married Filing
Jointly or qualifying widow(er)
Married Filing
Separately
Head of
Household
10% $0 - $8,500 $0 - $17,000 $0 - $8,500 $0 - $12,150
15% $8,500 - $34,500 $17,000 - $69,000 $8,500 - $34,500 $12,150 - $46,250
25% $34,500 - $83,600 $69,000 - 139,350 $34,500 - $69,675 $46,250 - 119,400
28% $83,600 - $174,400 $139,350 - $212,300 $69,675 - $106,150 $119,400 - $193,350
33% $174,400 - $379,150 $212,300 - $379,150 $106,150 - $189,575 $193,350 - $379,150
35% $379,150 and more $379,150 and more $189,575 and more $379,150 and more

How does it work? For example: a single without children pays income tax above a filing threshold (see below) of $9,500. This threshold is - not for 65 or older, qualified widower and if you don't itemize your deductions - the Standard Deduction (see below) of $5,800 plus the Personal Exemption (see below) of $3,700. So, a single would actually pay 0% over the first $9,500 of income. After subtracting this amount from her or his income, the brackets start to work. Over the next $8,500 a single pays 10% tax; 15% over the amount between 8,500 and $34,500 and so on.

2011 Personal Filing Threshold


Single
under 65
Married Filing jointly 
under 65
Head of
Household

0 children $9,500 $19,000 $12,200
1 child
$22,700 $15,900
2 children
$26,400 $19,600

Deductions: Individual tax payers are allowed a choice when preparing their income tax returns. They can itemize their deductions from a list of allowable items and subtract those itemized deductions (see below) and their personal exemption deductions (see below) from their AGI to get their Taxable Income. Or they can choose to subtract the standard deduction (see below) and their personal exemptions. The choice between standard and itemized deduction depends on:

  • a comparison between both types of deductions: what choice gives more money to subtract?
  • do you have kept records of the items you want to subtract? - you need them as prove.
  • if you are filing as 'Married', Filing separately', and your spouse itemizes, you have to do that to.

2011 Exemptions: for yourself (personal exemption), spouse (if you are married) or your dependents: $3,700 per person.

The personal exemption is not a subject to federal income tax, but it is the minimal amount of money you need to get by at a subsistence level.

Personal exemptions used to be subject to phase-out limits, called the personal exemption phaseout (PEP). The phase-out limits don't apply for the year 2010, 2011 and 2012. The limitations will re-surface in 2013 unless further legislation says otherwise.

You can take an exemption for yourself  - the personal exemption - or for your dependents, but you cannot do that if you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer - even if this taxpayer doesn't actually claim you as a dependent. If you are married you can claim an exemption for your spouse filing Jointly or Separately - only if another taxpayer doesn't claim your spouse  as a dependent. You cannot claim a person dependent unless that person is your Qualifying Child or qualifying relative.

You must always list the social security number (SSN) of any dependent for whom you claim an exemption. If you don't list the SSN the exemption could be denied.

2011 Personal Standard Deductions

Deductions Single Married Filing jointly 
Married Filing Separately Head of Household Dependents
Standard $5,800 $11,600 $5,800 $8,500 $950
Blind/Elderly $1,450 $1,150 $1,150 $1,450


  • 2011 Itemized Deductions: to come

Check the next link to learn more about the latest Tax Changes for Individuals.

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