The History of Tax Brackets

The History of Tax Brackets in the United States

Are you worried that tax rates might be on the rise? Are you considering a ROTH Conversion and just want some hard data on tax brackets?

The table below shows the progression of our tax bracket system since 1992. As you can see from the chart, tax brackets have been fairly consistent with the major changes discussed below:

  1992

  1993 -
2000
  2001   2002   2003 -
2009
  2010
?
15% 15% 15% 10% 10% 10%
15% 15% 15%
28% 28% 27.5% 27% 25% 25%
31% 31% 30.5% 30% 28% 28%
36% 35.5% 35% 33% 36%
39.6% 39.1% 38.6% 35% 39.6%

 

1993 saw a tax hike on the wealthy (via two new brackets at the top), and then 2001 through 2003 saw a series of tax cuts that lowered the tax brackets as follows:

From 2000 to 2002 most brackets dropped by one percent, and there was a new low bracket added for the "lucky duckies" at the very bottom. In 2003 most brackets got an additional cut of two percent with a special gift for the "other" lucky duckies, the ones at the top. But note that the rich still paid more in 2003, and everybody else paid less, than was the case in 1992. Now if we could just balance the budget...