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History of Federal Individual Income Bottom and Top Bracket Rates
Historical Income Tax Rates & Brackets
1 Taxable income excludes zero bracket amount from 1977 through 1986. Rates shown apply only to married persons filing joint returns beginning in 1948. Does not include either the add on minimum tax on preference items (1970-1982) or the alternative minimum tax (1979-present). Also, does not include the effects of the various tax benefit phase-outs (e.g. the personal exemption phase-out). From 1922 through 1986 and from 1991 forward, lower rates applied to long-term capital gains.
2 After earned-income deduction equal to 25 percent of earned income.
3 After earned-income deduction equal to 10 percent of earned income.
4 Exclusive of Victory Tax.
5 Subject to the following maximum effective rate limitations.
[year and maximum rate (in percent)] 1944-45 –90; 1946-47 –85.5; 1948-49 –77.0; 1950 –87.0; 1951 –87.2; 1952-53 –88.0; 1954-63 –87.0.
6 Includes surcharge of 7.5 percent in 1968, 10 percent in 1969, and 2.6 percent in 1970.
7 Earned income was subject to maximum marginal rates of 60 percent in 1971 and 50 percent from 1972 through 1981.
8 Beginning in 1975, a refundable earned-income credit is allowed for low-income individuals.
9 After tax credit is 1.25 percent against regular tax.
10 The benefit of the first rate bracket is eliminated by an increased rate above certain thresholds. The phase-out range of the benefit of the first rate bracket was as follows: Taxable income between $71,900 and $149,250 in 1988; taxable income between $74,850 and $155,320 in 1989; and taxable income between $78,400 and $162,770 in 1990. The phase-out of the benefit the first rate bracket was repealed for taxable years beginning after December 31, 1990. This added 5 percentage points to the marginal rate for those by the phaseout, producing a 33 percent effective rate.
11 Rates for 2003 are after enactment of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. Prior to enactment the rates were 10% up to $12,000 and 38.6% on amounts over $311,950.
12 The 2011 rates were extended for two years after enactment of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.
Sources: Joint Committee on Taxation, "Overview of Present Law and Economic Analysis Relating to Marginal Tax Rates and the President's Individual Income Tax Rate Proposals" (JCX-6-01), March 6, 2001, and Congressional Research Service, "Statutory Individual Income Tax Rates and Other Elements of the Tax System: 1988 through 2008," (RL34498) May 21, 2008. Tax Foundation, "Federal Individual Income Tax Rates History: Income Years 1913-2011,"