Income tax is a necessary evil that all individuals and businesses have to deal with. The tax rates and rules can be quite complex, especially with the progressive tax system that the US has. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the income tax rates from 2020 to 2023, as well as the concepts of marginal and average tax rates.
Let’s start by examining the components of the 1040 form. We will use Lacerte tax software to run some scenarios, but you don’t need tax software to follow along. For our example, we have a single filer named Neo Anderson living in California with a flat W-2 income of $100,000. We will use the standard deduction to arrive at a taxable income of $87,050.
Even if we had a flat tax, the system is still complex due to deductions and other factors. However, we have a progressive tax system that applies multiple tax rates to our income. We can use tables to see the different tax rates as income increases. However, we are often reliant on tax software to do the actual calculation since the system can get even more complicated when different types of income are taxed at different rates.
To communicate the tax information to a client, we often use the marginal and average tax rates. The marginal tax rate is the highest tax rate that applies to a taxpayer’s income. The effective tax rate is the average tax rate that is applied to a taxpayer’s income. In our example, the Lacerte tax software provides us with these rates, which we can use to communicate with the client.
When it comes to budgeting, it is essential to understand the marginal tax rate since it determines the tax impact of additional income. For example, if a taxpayer is in the 22% tax bracket, any additional income will be taxed at that rate, making it important to consider the tax implications of taking on additional work or investments.
In conclusion, income tax preparation is a critical aspect of wealth preservation. Understanding the income tax rates and concepts of marginal and average tax rates can help individuals and businesses make informed decisions when it comes to budgeting and tax planning. While tax software can be helpful, it is still essential to understand the calculations and be able to communicate the information to clients.