How Much Is Federal Income Tax In California?


“So how much is federal income tax in California?” People ask this question all the time, but the answer is that federal (IRS) income tax does not change because you are in California. Rather that California has its own state income tax on top of federal taxes. Most states have similar income tax programs – excluding Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. But California’s is a bit more exacting, given the state’s dense population and expenses.

Individual tax brackets in California apply to single taxpayers, married taxpayers, and registered domestic partners filing separately. The income levels are simply doubled for spouses and registered domestic partners who file jointly (this is the case with federal income taxes as well, with one exception). California’s income tax brackets for 2021, according to NerdWallet, are:

Single

Tax rate

Taxable income bracket

Tax owed

1%

$0 to $8,932

1% of taxable income

2%

$8,933 to $21,175

$89.32 plus 2% of the amount over $8,932

4%

$21,176 to $33,421

$334.18 plus 4% of the amount over $21,175

6%

$33,422 to $46,394

$824.02 plus 6% of the amount over $33,421

8%

$46,395 to $58,634

$1,602.40 plus 8% of the amount over $46,394

9.3%

$58,635 to $299,508

$2,581.60 plus 9.3% of the amount over $58,634

10.3%

$299,509 to $359,407

$24,982.88 plus 10.3% of the amount over $299,508

11.3%

$359,408 to $599,012

$31,152.48 plus 11.3% of the amount over $359,407

12.3%

$599,013 or more

$58,227.85 plus 12.3% of the amount over $599,012

Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)

Tax rate

Taxable income bracket

Tax owed

1%

$0 to $17,864

1% of taxable income

2%

$17,865 to $42,350

$178.64 plus 2% of the amount over $17,864

4%

$42,351 to $66,842

$668.36 plus 4% of the amount over $42,350

6%

$66,843 to $92,788

$1,648.04 plus 6% of the amount over $66,842

8%

$92,789 to $117,268

$3,204.80 plus 8% of the amount over $92,788

9.3%

$117,269 to $599,016

$5,163.20 plus 9.3% of the amount over $117,268

10.3%

$599,017 to $718,814

$49,965.76 plus 10.3% of the amount over $599,016

11.3%

$718,815 to $1,198,024

$62,304.95 plus 11.3% of the amount over $718,814

12.3%

$1,198,025 or more

$116,455.68 plus 12.3% of the amount over $1,198,024

Head of household

Tax rate

Taxable income bracket

Tax owed

1%

$0 to $17,864

1% of taxable income

2%

$17,865 to $42,353

$178.64 plus 2% of the amount over $17,864

4%

$42,354 to $54,597

$668.36 plus 4% of the amount over $42,353

6%

$54,598 to $67,569

$1,158.06 plus 6% of the amount over $54,597

8%

$67,570 to $79,812

$1,936.38 plus 8% of the amount over $67,569

9.3%

$79,813 to $407,329

$2,915.82 plus 9.3% of the amount over $79,812

10.3%

$407,330 to $488,796

$33,374.90 plus 10.3% of the amount over $407,329

11.3%

$488,797 to $814,658

$41,766 plus 11.3% of the amount over $488,796

12.3%

$814,659 or more

$78,588.41 plus 12.3% of the amount over $814,658

Married filing separately

Tax rate

Taxable income bracket

Tax owed

1%

$0 to $8,932

1% of taxable income

2%

$8,933 to $21,175

$89.32 plus 2% of the amount over $8,932

4%

$21,176 to $33,421

$334.18 plus 4% of the amount over $21,175

6%

$33,422 to $46,394

$824.02 plus 6% of the amount over $33,421

8%

$46,395 to $58,634

$1,602.40 plus 8% of the amount over $46,394

9.3%

$58,635 to $299,508

$2,581.60 plus 9.3% of the amount over $58,634

10.3%

$299,509 to $359,407

$24,982.88 plus 10.3% of the amount over $299,508

11.3%

$359,408 to $599,012

$31,152.48 plus 11.3% of the amount over $359,407

12.3%

$599,013 or more

$58,227.85 plus 12.3% of the amount over $599,012

In addition, any portion of taxable income exceeding $1 million is subject to a 1% mental health services tax.

The California State Franchise Tax Board

While most states that charge an income tax do so structured after the IRS, California takes some special interpretations towards tax policy. It is an expensive state in which to do business! It taxes at a higher than average rate for personal state tax, and charges both personal and business taxes to small business owners. The IRS does not collect personal income taxes from business owners, because they see that as double-taxing. California subscribes to no such niceties! To add to that, California also charges non-residents on their income based within the state, if applicable.

The California Franchise Tax Board collects more than $50 billion in annual personal income tax alone, and an additional $9.5 billion in annual corporate income taxes. The California FTB is one of the few US tax agencies which have been convicted for fraud; this was 6 years ago in Nevada. It goes to show that sometimes, California has a bit too much weight to throw around.

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