Income Tax 2012
2012 Federal Individual Income Tax Rates, Deductions and Exemptions
Tax return due: Monday April 15, 2013, unless you file an extension with form 4868by 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.
2012 Individual Federal Income Brackets and Tax Rates
Jointly or qualifying widow(er)
|10%||$0 - $8,700||$0 - $17,400||$0 - $8,700||$0 - $12,400|
|15%||$8,700 - $35,350||$17,400 - $70,700||$8,700 - $35,350||$12,400 - $47,350|
|25%||$35,350 - $85,650||$70,700 - 142,700||$35,350 - $71,350||$47,350 - 122,300|
|28%||$85,650 - $178,650||$142,700 - $217,450||$71,350 - $108,725||$122,300 - $198,050|
|33%||$178,650 - $388,350||$217,450 - $388,350||$108,752 - $194,175||$198,050 - $388,350|
|35%||$388,350 and more||$388,350 and more||$194,175 and more||$388,350 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 $5,950 plus the Personal Exemption (see below) of $3,800. So, a single would actually pay 0% over the first $9,750 of income. After subtracting this amount from her or his income, the brackets start to work. Over the next $8,700 a single pays 10% tax; 15% over the amount between 8,700 and $35,350 and so on.
2012 Personal Filing Threshold
|Married Filing jointly |
|Head of |
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.
2012 Exemptions: for yourself (personal exemption), spouse (if you are married) or your dependents: $3,800 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.
2012 Personal Standard Deductions
|Deductions||Single||Married Filing jointly ||Married Filing Separately||Head of Household||Dependents|
|Standard||$5,950||$11,900||$5,950||$8,700||Greater of $950 or sum of $300 and individual's earned income|
2012 Itemized deductions for:
- state and local property and either income or sales taxes
- mortgage and investment interest
- mortgage insurance
- charitable contributions
- medical expenses in excess of 7.5 of income
- casualty and theft losses in excess of 10% of income
- job expenses and miscellaneous expenses (most only allowed in excess of 2% of income)
In tax year 2012 there is no limit on itemized deductions for higher income tax payers. Unless Congress acts to further extend the elimination, the limitations will be reinstated in the tax year 2013.
- Self-employed rate: 2.9% on wages, salaries and business or farming income'
- Employee rate: 1.45% (other half is paid by the employer);
- There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare taxes;
- Self-employed persons are allowed to deduct half of the Medicare tax as an adjustment to income. They pay their Medicare tax when filing their personal tax return as part of the self-employment tax.
- Employee tax rate: 4.2%
- Self-employed tax rate: 10.4%
- Maximum taxable earnings for Social Security (OASDI) taxes is $110,100;
Note: when you have more than one job in a year, each of your employers must withheld Social Security taxes from your wages without regard to what other employers may have withheld. You may then end up with Social Security taxes withheld that exceed the maximum. In that case you can claim a refund of the too much paid Social Security taxes when you file your personal income tax return.
Check the next link to learn more about the latest Tax Changes for Individuals.