Income Tax Rates

The income tax rates are important information that every person should be aware of as it would help them in filing their taxes appropriately. For the year 2010, the income tax rates would remain largely similar to the rates that were prevalent in 2009. Going into 2010, the IRS announced that due to low inflation and slow economy the rates have not changed much. Keeping the consumer price index (CPI) in mind and the stagnated growth, the IRS decided to keep the personal exemption amount and the standard deduction bracket similar to the 2009 tax rates.

Understanding federal and state taxes isn’t that difficult if you understand the rates. Once you know about the rates, then you can easily decide which bracket applies in your case and thereby you can estimate your taxes on your own. The state income taxes generally range between 1% and 10%, and for every state there is a different rate. In some states there are also city income taxes so you must be aware of that too. With the start of 2011, it may be predicted that President Obama might cut down the Bush rates and go back to the income tax rates prevalent in 2001 to 2003. The top income tax rate might go back to 39.6 percent while the low bracket of 10 percent might be eliminated in future.

For the coming year 2011, the tax we pay might see an increase in capital gains and dividend rates. The capital gains rate might go back to 20 percent from 15 percent that was prevalent in 2010, and your dividend income might be taxed as your ordinary income so you must keep all these points in mind to calculate your tax correctly in future.

The rates keep changing yearly and unless you are well aware of the rates then you might suffer tremendously if you calculate your taxes with the old tax rate. You should keep track of your previous year income and taxes to chalk out your future taxes correctly. You must also look into child tax credit and the estate tax rates to calculate your taxes correctly.

Lastly, income tax rates can be checked online from any government site or you can also download them for easy reference. You can check on the rates table from any place, as long as it is reliable and you must use the correct rates to calculate your income taxes.


Five Tips to Minimize Your Family’s Tax Burden

Parents: Did you know that you can hire your kids in your small business and reduce your taxes?

Hiring your children if you own your own business is a great tax planning strategy, but it’s more than just a tax deduction. Here are a few ways you can save taxes by hiring your children in your small business:

1. You get a tax deduction for the wages you pay your kids, which reduces your taxable income

2. By paying your children, you are effectively transferring income from your higher tax bracket to your childrens’ lower tax bracket

3. You reduce your self employment income, thus you also reduce your self employment tax

4. Your kids may not owe any tax on the amount you pay them, depending on how much they earn and whether you claim them as a dependent or not (in 2009, dependent children can earn up to $5,700 before they will owe any income tax)

5. Paying your children a wage allows them to open an IRA or Roth IRA, which gives them a jump start on saving for retirement, college and other goals

If you have entrepreneurial kids, consider starting the business in your name and hiring your children instead of having the kids own the business. This will reduce your family’s overall tax burden.

Why would it matter who owns the business? Well, if you are self employed, you have to pay self employment tax on your net earnings over $400. This rule applies to both adults and children, so there is no advantage to being a kid when you’re self employed. However, kids have a huge advantage if they earn wages paid from an employer. Why? Well, kids don’t have to pay taxes on the first $5,700 of earned income, even if they are claimed as a dependent on their parents’ tax return.

Here’s an example:

Let’s assume Teddy, who is 14 years old, has a web design business. In 2009, he expects to earn $5,000 from this business after all of his expenses.

If Teddy is the owner, he is considered self employed and will have to pay 15.3% in self employment tax on this income. Assuming this is his only income, he won’t owe any federal income tax because his total earnings are less than the standard deduction amount ($5,700 in 2009), but he will still have to pay self employment tax on the net profit. Teddy’s total tax in this example will be $765.

Now let’s assume that Teddy’s dad is the owner of the business and he hires Teddy to do the work. Teddy still makes $5,000 from this business, but because he is an employee instead of the owner of the business, he doesn’t have to pay self employment tax. Teddy’s dad will report the $5,000 in income on his tax return, but he gets to deduct the $5,000 he pays Teddy to work in the business, so dad won’t owe any tax on this income. In addition, because Teddy is under 18, Teddy’s dad doesn’t have to pay payroll taxes on him. Finally, because Teddy earned less than the standard deduction, his total tax liability will be zero.

In this example, the family’s total tax savings by having the business in the father’s name and having the child as an employee instead of the owner is $765.