State Income Tax

California Income Tax Brackets

California has a progressive tax system just like federal income taxes. Those who are on the lower-end of the pay scale pay a less portion of their income and the rate increases as you earn more.

The tax rates in California are between 1% to 13.3% while the average tax burden is 9.47% of personal income. California also has a considerably high sales tax which ranges from 7.25% to 9.50. The tax on gasoline, on the other hand, is 62.05 cents per gallon and 87.21 cents per gallon of diesel. Unlike the federal income tax brackets, the marginal rates are increased gradually.

The marginal tax rates are 1%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 9.3%, 10.3%, 11.3%, 12.3%, and 13.3%. These rates are not going to apply to the actual income but to your adjusted gross income. Same as federal income taxes, your filing status also plays a role in which tax bracket you’re going to be placed.

Calculate Adjusted Gross Income

Your adjusted gross income or AGI for short is the taxable income. It can be found after all the deductions available to you are subtracted from the income you’ve earned.

Standard Deduction

There are many available deductions for California income tax. You can claim standard deduction if nobody claimed you as a dependent on their tax return. The standard deduction amount in 2020 is $4,537 for single filers and $9,074 for joint filers, head of household, and qualifying widow(er)s.

Itemized Deductions

Most of the itemized deductions that apply to federal taxes are available on your California state income tax return. Here are the most common itemizable tax deductions for California income tax.

  • Home Mortgage Interests
    • On home purchases up to $1 million
  • Dental and Medical Expenses
    • Amounts that exceed 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income
  • Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses
    • Up to 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income
  • Real Estate Tax Deduction
    • Up to 50% of your Adjusted Gross Income
  • Gambling Losses
    • Up to your winnings

After you subtract the total amount of your deductions from the income you earned throughout the year, you’ll know your taxable income, therefore the AGI as well. The rest is to figure out how much your tax bill is going to be. Simply take the marginal tax rate that applies to you and do the math with your taxable income.

Below, you can see the tax brackets that are effective for your 2019 California state income taxes that are due on April 15.

California Tax Brackets – Single Filers

Taxable IncomeTax Rate
$0 – $8,8091%
$8,810 – $20,8832%
$20,884 – $32,9604%
$32,961 – $45,7536%
$45,754 – $57,8248%
$57,825 – $295,3739.3%
$295,374 – $354,44510.3%
$354,446 – $590,74211.3%
$590,743 – $999,99912.3%
$1 million and more13.3%

Tax brackets above also apply to those who are married but filing separately.

California Tax Brackets – Joint Filers

Taxable Income Tax Rate
$0 – $17,6181%
$17,619 – $41,7662%
$41,767 – $62,9204%
$62,921 – $91,5066%
$91,507 – $115,6488%
$115,649 – $590,7469.3%
$590,747 – $708,89010.3%
$708,891 – $1,181,48411.3%
$1,181,485 – $1,999,99912.3%
$2 million and more13.3%

California Tax Brackets – Head of Household

Taxable IncomeTax Rate
$0 – $17,6291%
$17,630 – $41,7682%
$41,769 – $53,8434%
$53,844 – $66,6366%
$66,637 – $78,7108%
$78,711 – $401,7059.3%
$401,705 – $482,04710.3%
$482,048 – $803,41011.3%
$803,411 – $999,99912.3%
$1 million and more13.3%

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