# marginal tax rate

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## Marginal tax rate

## Marginal Tax Rate

## marginal tax rate

*tax bracket*. See also progressive tax.

Taxes are determined by calculations based on taxable income. Tax rates (or brackets) start at 10%, rising as high as 39.1% currently. Taxable income is broken down into certain levels, each to which a tax bracket applies. The highest bracket relative to taxable income is called your marginal tax rate. Each additional dollar of income or deduction increases or reduces tax by the percentage determined to be your marginal tax bracket. Use the calculations in investment decisions by comparing aftertax returns to tax-free securities or to growth securities that might be held until retirement, when tax brackets may be lower.

Jeffrey S. Levine, CPA, MST, Alkon & Levine, PC, Newton, MA## Marginal tax rate.

Because the US income tax system is progressive, your tax rate rises as your taxable income rises through two or more tax brackets.

Your marginal tax rate is the rate you pay on the taxable income that falls into the highest bracket you reach: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, or 35%.

For instance, if you have a taxable income that falls into three brackets, you would pay at the 10% rate on the first portion, the 15% rate on the next portion, and the 25% federal tax rate on only the third portion. Your marginal rate would be 25%.

However, your marginal tax rate is higher than your effective tax rate, which is the average rate you pay on your combined taxable income. That's because you're only paying tax at your marginal, or maximum, rate on the top portion of your income.

Keep in mind that your marginal tax rate applies only to tax on ordinary income and does not take into account other tax liabilities -- such as realized long-term capital gains, which are taxed at your long capital gains rate, or tax credits for which you may be eligible, which may reduce the actual tax you pay.