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Tax Rate Calculator: 2017 through 2021

This online tool can compute the 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 federal income tax rates, also known as tax brackets, for individuals. The calculator takes into consideration, wages, salaries, income, adjustments to income, deductions, as well as exemptions. The calculator not only provides an estimate of federal income tax owed, but also Social Security and Medicare taxes too.

Calculator Definitions

The variables used in our online calculator are defined in detail below, including how to interpret the results.

Filing Status

In this dropdown box, select the federal income tax rate schedule that applies: single (unmarried individuals), married filing separate returns, married filing joint returns, or head of household.


In this drop down box, select the tax year to be used by the calculator. This includes the years 2017 through 2021.

Wages, Salaries, Income ($)

This is the total of all wages, salaries, and income, as typically reported on the tax Form W-2.

Adjustments to Income ($)

The most common adjustments to income include dividends, taxable interest, capital gains or losses, IRA distributions, tax refunds, pensions, and Social Security benefits. The net adjustment can be either a positive number, which adds to taxable income, or a negative value, which lowers taxable income.

Deductions from Income ($)

This can be an estimate of the total itemized deductions derived from Schedule A or the standard deduction, which can be found in the table below. Note: Deductions from income should be entered as a positive value.

Single Head of Household Married, Filing
Separately Joint Returns
2017 $6,350 $9,350 $6,350 $12,700
2018 $12,000 $18,000 $12,000 $24,000
2019 $12,200 $18,350 $12,200 $24,400
2020 $12,400 $18,650 $12,400 $24,800
2021 $12,550 $18,800 $12,550 $25,100

Note: The 2018 tax code places a $10,000 limit on the deductibility of state and local taxes. It limits the deduction on mortgage interest to the first $750,000 of the loan.

Number of Exemptions

The number of exemptions is typically equal to the number of dependents claimed on Form 1040. Exemptions usually include the taxpayer, their spouse, children, and qualifying relatives.

Adjusted Gross Income ($)

The sum of all wages, salaries, and income, plus adjustments to income, equals the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.

Exemptions ($)

The value of each exemption taken in 2017 is equal to $4,050, while it’s $0 in 2018, 2019. 2020 and 2021. Taxpayers with adjusted gross income levels over $150,000 may lose part of this exemption, as determined in the instructions to Form 1040. Exemption values for prior tax years can be found in the table below:

Tax Year Exemption Value
2017 $4,050
2018 $0
2019 $0
2020 $0
2021 $0

Total Taxable Income ($)

The sum of adjusted gross income plus deductions and exemptions is equal to the total taxable income. If this value is less than zero, then no federal income taxes are due.

Federal Income Tax ($)

Based on the total taxable income found in the previous step, as well as the filing status and year, this is the federal income tax due based on the appropriate tax rate tables.

Social Security ($)

The total amount of Social Security taxes due is based on wages, salaries, and other income sources. In 2020, this tax is calculated as 6.20% of the first $137,700 in wages, while in 2021 the wage limit increases to $142,800. The Social Security limits and rates for prior years can be found in the table below:

Tax Year Rate Wage Limit
2017 6.20% $127,200
2018 6.20% $128,400
2019 6.20% $132,900
2020 6.20% $137,700
2021 6.20% $142,800

Medicare Tax ($)

The second component of the FICA tax is Medicare, which is calculated as 1.45% of all wages. Married filing joint returns with income over $250,000 are subject to an additional 0.09% tax on wages above $250,000, while this same rule holds true for all other taxpayers with income over $200,000.

Total Federal Taxes ($)

This value is calculated as the sum of federal income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare. This value represents a rough estimate of all the tax dollars that may be due the federal government.

Tax Bracket (%)

Based on the total taxable income, and the filing status chosen, this is the incremental tax bracket for this taxpayer. This value represents the rate of tax for the last dollar of taxable income.

Tax Rate (% of Taxable Income)

The final value calculated is the tax rate. This is the total federal taxes paid divided by the total taxable income, and represents an average tax rate for this individual.

Tax Rate Calculator: 2017 through 2021

Disclaimer: These calculators are made available and meant to be used as a screening tool for the investor. The accuracy of these calculator results is not guaranteed nor is its applicability to your individual circumstances. You should always obtain personal advice from qualified professionals.