2021 Tax Brackets, Filing Requirements, Cutoffs, and Income Limits

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These are the tax brackets and other cutoffs for tax year 2021 filed in April 2022. Not all 2021 numbers have been released, and those still show 2020 data when indicated.

2020 tax brackets and cutoffs for taxes filed in April 2021 are here.

Tax Return Filing Requirements

You probably need to file a tax return if you:

  • Had income greater than the standard deduction (see below).
  • Had self-employment income greater than $400.
  • Received the Premium Tax Credit (Obamacare subsidy).
  • Had income tax withheld and want your refund.

There are a few other special situations where you may need to file. You can check using this IRS tool.

Tax Brackets

Single Filer and Married Filing Separately 2021 Tax Brackets

Tax rate Lower Limit Upper Limit
10% $0 $9,950
12% $9,951 $40,525
22% $40,526 $86,375
24% $86,376 $164,925
32% $164,926 $209,425
35% $209,426 $523,600
37% $523,601

Married Filing Jointly and Qualifying Widow(er) 2021 Tax Brackets

Tax rate Lower Limit Upper Limit
10% $0 $19,900
12% $19,901 $81,500
22% $81,051 $172,750
24% $172,751 $329,850
32% $329,851 $418,850
35% $418,851 $628,300
37% $628,301

Head of Household 2021 Tax Brackets

Tax rate Lower Limit Upper Limit
10% $0 $14,200
12% $14,201 $54,200
22% $54,201 $86,350
24% $86,351 $164,900
32% $164,901 $209,400
35% $209,401 $523,600
37% $523,601

Trusts and Estates 2020 Tax Brackets

Tax rate Lower Limit Upper Limit
10% $0 $2,650
24% $2,651 $9,550
35% $9,551 $13,050
37% $13,051

Special Taxes

Capital Gains 2021 Tax Rates

Filing Status Maximum Income for 0% Rate Maximum Income for 15% Rate
Single Filer $40,400 $445,850
Married Filing Jointly and Qualifying Widow(er) $80,000 $501,600
Married Filing Separately $40,400 $445,850
Head of Household $54,100 $473,750
Trusts and Estates $2,650 $13,150

*If you’re above the 15% limit, you pay 20%.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) 2021 Exemptions

Filing Status Amount
Single $73,600
Married filing jointly $114,600
Married filing separately $56,700
Trusts and estates $25,700

Deductions and Credits

2021 Standard Deduction

Filing Status Amount
Single $12,550
Married filing jointly $25,100
Married filing separately $12,550
Head of household $18,800

Section 199A Qualified Business Income Deduction 2021 Cutoffs

Learn more about the QBI deduction here.

Filing Status Threshold Phase-out
Single Filer $164,900 $214,900
Married Filing Jointly and Qualifying Widow(er) $329,800 $429,800
Married Filing Separately $164,900 $214,900
Head of Household $164,900 $214,900

2021 Standard Mileage Deduction Rates

Type Amount
Business $0.56 per mile
Medical $0.16 per mile
Moving $0.16  per mile
Charity $0.14 per mile

If you moved to a new state, learn more about what else you need to do to file your taxes here.

Retirement

2021 Retirement Contribution Limits

Account Type Under 50 Age 50+
Traditional/Roth IRA $6,000 $7,000
401(k) Employee Contribution $19,500 $25,500
Maximum Combined 401(k) Contribution $57,000 $63,000
SIMPLE IRA Employee Contribution $13,500 $16,500

2021 IRA Income Limits

The lower number is the maximum income at which you can make a full contribution. After that, your maximum contribution decreases to $0 as your income approaches the second number.

Filing Status Deductible Traditional IRA Roth IRA
Single $66,000 to $76,000 $125,000 to $139,999
Married Filing Jointly $105,000 to $125,000 $198,000 to $207,999
Married Filing Separately $1 to $9,999 $1 to $9,999

2020 Social Security Cutoffs

Type Cutoff
Wage base (tax cap) Social Security tax on first $142,800 in earnings
Full retirement age 66 years and 10 months
Minimum age to claim 62
Maximum payout age 70
Earnings limit under full retirement age $18,960
Earnings limit in year reaching full retirement age $50,520

Learn more about part-time work in retirement.

2021 Saver’s Credit Income Limits

The Saver’s Credit gives you a tax credit for up to the first $2,000 of your retirement contributions. The credit varies based on your income and filing status.

Credit Amount Single Filer Income Limit Joint Filer Income Limit
50% $19,500 $39,000
20% $21,250 $42,500
10% $33,000 $66,000

To calculate your credit, take the lower of $2,000 or the amount of money you put into an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plan. Then multiply that amount by your credit percentage. If your income is above the limit for the 10% credit, your credit is $0.

Example:

  • $5,500 retirement contribution and $35,000 income as a joint filer.
  • $2,000 is less than $5,500.
  • $2,000 x 50% = $1,000 credit.

Need personal help? Click here for additional free resources or to find an accountant, attorney, or other professional near youRemember: This blog post and the comments provide generalized information that may be out of date or inaccurate for your situation. Always schedule a personal consultation with an appropriate licensed professional in your area before taking action. For full terms of use, click here.

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