# Understanding the tax calculation based on brackets

Have been in the US for some time, but never had time to understand how taxes are calculated. Now that I am locked at home, I think it is a good time to learn it. Can anyone please take a look at my calculations and tell whether I understood the concept correctly.

For simplicity let's assume that husband and a wife are bringing home 500k per year and filing under `Married filing jointly` condition.

Based on this federal tax bracket for 2019, per my understanding this family will pay ~ 125385\$ in Federal taxes because of:

• `19400 * 0.1 = 1940`
• `( 78950 - 19401) * 0.12 ~= 7146`
• `(168400 - 78951) * 0.22 ~= 19679`
• `(321450 - 168401) * 0.24 ~= 36732`
• `(408200 - 321451) * 0.32 ~= 27759`
• `(500000 - 408201) * 0.35 ~= 32129`

Now if this family lives in CA, based on this bracket (again, married filing jointly) they will pay ~40835\$ because of the similar calculations:

• `17618 * 0.01 ~= 176`
• `( 41766 - 17618) * 0.02 ~= 483`
• `( 65920 - 41766) * 0.04 ~= 966`
• `( 91506 - 65920) * 0.06 ~= 1535`
• `(115648 - 91506) * 0.08 ~= 1931`
• `(500000 - 115648) * 0.093 ~= 35744`

If this family lives in WA, they do not need to pay state tax and if they live in IL they will pay `500000 * 0.0495 = 24750` due to the flat tax rate of 4.95%.

Is my calculation correct?

If it is, just for a future self a python code to quickly see the results.

• Do you really mean 'bring home' or gross pay? In US 'take-home' pay is after withholding, but taxes are computed on pay before withholding and after some tax-qualified benefits like health coverage and 401(k); see money.stackexchange.com/questions/124826/… . A quick way to approximate Federal income tax is the estimated tax worksheet(s) i.e. form 1040-ES for that year; 2019 is over, but prior year forms are available on the website using this search May 8, 2020 at 18:16
• Note that the federal tax tables (at least) precalculate the values for "more than bracket X" already. May 8, 2020 at 18:29