The IRS recently announced the new tax brackets for the 2021 tax year, to be filed in 2022. For married taxpayers filing jointly, they can use these new tax brackets to figure out how much tax they can expect to pay this coming tax season.
These are the tax rates for married couples filing jointly.
Table of Contents
- 1 IRS Tax Brackets for Married Couples Filing Jointly:
- 2 What is the Standard Deduction for Married Couples Filing Jointly?
- 3 What is the Alternative Minimum Tax Amount?
- 4 There Have Been Some Significant Changes to the IRS Tax Brackets
- 5 Should a Married Couple File Jointly or Separately?
- 6 The Alternative Minimum Tax Exemption
- 7 Tax Credit and Deduction Changes
- 8 Other Major Tax Changes
- 9 TurboTax Has You Covered
- 10 How to File Taxes Online in 3 Simple Steps With TurboTax
IRS Tax Brackets for Married Couples Filing Jointly:
For the tax year 2021, the maximum tax rate for individual single taxpayers with earnings over $523,600 ($628,300 for married couples filing jointly) remains 37 percent. The other rates are as follows:
- 35%, for incomes over $209,425 ($418,850 for married couples filing jointly);
- 32% for incomes over $164,925 ($329,850 for married couples filing jointly);
- 24% for incomes over $86,375 ($172,750 for married couples filing jointly);
- 22% for incomes over $40,525 ($81,050 for married couples filing jointly);
- 12% for incomes over $9,950 ($19,900 for married couples filing jointly).
The lowest rate is 10% for incomes of single individuals with incomes of $9,950 or less ($19,900 for married couples filing jointly).
Anything below $19,900 means you pay a 10% tax rate.
It would be best if you also remembered that there’s no limit on the number of itemized deductions, as this was removed the previous year under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
What is the Standard Deduction for Married Couples Filing Jointly?
For the tax year 2021, the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly is increased to $25,100, a $300 increase from the previous year.
The standard deduction for single taxpayers and married persons filing separately will increase by $150 to $12,550 in 2021, while the standard deduction for heads of households will increase by $150 to $18,800 in 2021.
What is the Alternative Minimum Tax Amount?
The Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount for the tax year 2021 is $73,600 and begins to phase out at $523,600 ($114,600 for married couples filing jointly for whom the exemption begins to phase out at $1,047,200).
There Have Been Some Significant Changes to the IRS Tax Brackets
- The standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly has been increased to $25,100. This is a $300 increase from the previous year.
- For heads of households, the standard deduction will be $18,800, up $150.
- The personal tax exemption hasn’t changed from 2018. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) stipulated that the personal exemption has been removed.
- For married couples filing jointly, the top rate of tax has remained the same at 37%. To qualify for the maximum rate of tax, you must have earned more than $628,300.
Should a Married Couple File Jointly or Separately?
An excellent way to find out if you should file jointly or separately with your spouse is to prepare the tax return both ways. First, double-check your calculations and then look at the net refund or balance due from each method.
If you use TurboTax online tax filing to prepare your return, they will do the calculations for you and recommend the filing status that gives you the biggest tax savings.
The Alternative Minimum Tax Exemption
Married couples filing jointly will also see a change in the alternative minimum tax exemption. This limitation is set at $111,700, and it will begin to phase out at $1,020,600.
As you can see, this is a relatively minor increase when compared to the previous year.
Tax Credit and Deduction Changes
The Earned Income Credit (EIC) has been increased for married couples filing jointly to $6,728 for 2021. This represents a minor increase from the maximum in 2021.
The maximum amount can be claimed if you have three or more qualifying children. There are also other factors to take into account, such as your income.
A significant change is to the financial penalty levied for not maintaining a minimum level of health coverage. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), this is now $0, a reduction of $695 from 2018.
Other Major Tax Changes
- For contributions to flexible health spending arrangements, the dollar limitation has been updated to $2,700.
- For taxpayers who hold a Medical Savings Account for self-only coverage, the annual deductible must be at least $2,350 and no more than $3,500.
- The foreign earned income exclusion has increased to $105,900.
- The basic exclusion on the estates of decedents is now $11,400,000.
- The annual exclusion on gifts hasn’t changed and remains at $15,000.
- The tax credit for qualified adoption expenses has increased from $13,810 to $14,080.
TurboTax Has You Covered
Don’t worry about knowing these tax laws and brackets. TurboTax Online will ask you simple questions and give you the best tax filing status, tax deductions, and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers.
If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax tax expert or CPA with an average of 12 years of experience to get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live tax experts and CPAs are available in English and Spanish and can also review, sign, and file your tax return.