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The Average American’s Tax Bill Throughout the Years

Gabrielle Olya
The Average American’s Tax Bill Throughout the Years

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Average American’s Tax Bill Throughout the Years

Median income earners pay tens of thousands in taxes every year, but the exact amount has changed over time as income levels have increased and tax rates have fluctuated.

To determine the average American’s tax bill over the last 20 years, GOBankingRates looked at the median income for each year and the historical tax rates to calculate how much of those making the median income would have paid in taxes. Find out how much Americans have been paying in taxes throughout the years.

1997

  • Median income: $37,005
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $10,361

If you think you pay high taxes now, keep in mind that things were worse in the ’90s. From 1997 through 2000, the percentage those earning the median income paid toward taxes was 28 percent. By comparison, in 2017, it was 25 percent.

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1998

  • Median income: $38,885
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $10,888

In 1998, anything over $278,450 was income taxed at the highest rate if you were part of the highest tax bracket — by 2017, that amount rose to $470,701. The highest income earners were taxed at a 39.6 percent rate.

1999

  • Median income: $40,696
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $11,395

In 1999, earnings up to $43,050 were taxable under the lowest historic tax bracket. Although the average median income earner paid over $11,000 in taxes this year, Americans living in one of the states with the lowest tax bills likely paid less.

2000

  • Median income: $41,990
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $11,757

Since 2000, tax rates for the lowest tax bracket and the median tax bracket have decreased. This year was the last year in tax history that the lowest tax bracket was taxed at a rate of 15 percent.

2001

  • Median income: $42,228
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $11,613

In 2001, the lowest bracket’s tax rate dropped from 15 percent to 10 percent, the highest tax bracket’s rate dropped from 39.6 percent to 39.1 percent, and the median income earner’s tax rate dropped from 28 percent to 27.5 percent.

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2002

  • Median income: $42,409
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $11,450

The percentage median income earners were taxed at dropped again in 2002, from 27.5 percent the previous year to 27 percent. The tax rate for the highest tax bracket also dropped, from 39.1 percent to 38.6 percent.

2003

  • Median income: $43,318
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $10,830

The last year that income tax rates dropped for the highest tax bracket and the median income tax bracket was 2003. The highest tax bracket was taxed at a rate of 35 percent from 2003 through 2012, and the median tax bracket has been taxed at a rate of 25 percent through 2017.

2004

  • Median income: $44,334
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $11,084

In 2004, only income up to $14,300 was considered taxable income for the lowest tax bracket.

No matter what tax bracket you fall into, you should take advantage of these common tax deductions.

2005

  • Median income: $46,326
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $11,581

If you were part of the highest tax bracket in 2005, earnings over $326,540 were taxed at a rate of 35 percent.

2006

  • Median income: $48,201
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $12,050

The first year that the average American earning the median income paid more than $12,000 in taxes was 2006.

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2007

  • Median income: $49,276
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $12,319

The tax bracket containing median income earners ranged from $42,650 to $110,100 in 2007.

2008

  • Median income: $49,777
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $12,444

A decade ago, only income up to $16,050 was considered taxable income for the lowest tax bracket.

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2009

  • Median income: $50,054
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $12,513

If you were part of the highest tax bracket in 2009, income over $372,950 was taxed at the highest rate.

2010

  • Median income: $50,233
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $12,558

In 2010, the tax bracket that included median income earners ranged from $45,550 to $117,650.

2011

  • Median income: $50,303
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $12,576

Members of the lowest tax bracket had to pay taxes on up to $17,000 of their income in 2011.

Keep reading if you’ve got back taxes and need some tips for dealing with them.

2012

  • Median income: $51,017
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $12,754

The last year members of the highest tax bracket were taxed at a rate of 35 percent was 2012.

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2013

  • Median income: $52,762
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $13,191

In 2013, tax rates for low- and median-income earners remained the same, but the tax rate for the highest income bracket was raised to 39.6 percent. It remained at that level through 2017.

2014

  • Median income: $53,657
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $13,414

In 2014, members of the lowest tax bracket paid taxes on income up to $18,150, and members of the highest tax bracket paid taxes at the highest rate on income over $457,600.

2015

  • Median income: $56,516
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $14,129

The first year that the average median income earner paid more than $14,000 in taxes was 2015.

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2016

  • Median income: $59,039
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $14,760

The tax bracket that the median household income fell into in 2016 ranged from $50,401 to $130,150.

 

2017

  • Median income: $61,372
  • Approximate amount paid in taxes: $15,343

Tax Year 2017 is the last year the highest tax bracket was taxed at a rate of 39.6 percent. Under the tax reform, the highest earners will be taxed at a rate of 37 percent. But the lowest income earners will still be taxed at a rate of 10 percent.

Will your tax rate change? Click through to see who will be paying more in taxes next year.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the average American’s tax bill throughout the years by finding the marginal tax rate an American earning the national median income would pay in taxes each year between 1997 and 2017, as well as the tax bracket that person would fall into. The tax bracket that is used for this study is head of household. Historical median income was then multiplied by the respective tax rate. Tax data was sourced from Tax Foundation and IRS; median income was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.