Historical Income Tax Rates
Tax & AccountingMarch 09, 2021

Historical Income Tax Rates

A Historical Look at Top Marginal Income Tax Rate

Note: For much of tax history, the top rate is figured by adding a “surtax” rate to a basic rate.

YEAR

REGULAR

SURTAX

TOTAL TOP RATE

1913–1915

1%

6%

7%

1916

2%

13%

15%

1917

4%

63%

67%

1918–1921

8%

65%

73%

1922–1923

8%

50%

58%

1924

6%

40%

46%

1925–1931

5%

20%

25%

1932–1933

8%

55%

63%

1934–1935

4%

59%

63%

1936–1940

4%

75%

79%

1941

4%

77%

81%

1942–1943

6%

82%

88%

1944

3%

91%

94%

1945–1963

3%

88%

91%

1964

3%

74%

77%

1965–1981

70%

 

70%

1982–1986

50%

 

50%

1987

38.5%

 

38.5%

1988–90*

33%

 

33%

1991–1992

31%

 

31%

1993–2000

39.6%

 

39.6%

2001

39.1%

 

39.1%

2002

38.6%

 

38.6%

2003–2012

35%

 

35%

2013–2017

39.6%

 

39.6%

2018-2021

37%

 

37%

 

*During 1988–90, tax on top income could not be determined without using a worksheet, but 33% appears to have been the highest rate paid.

 

Source: Wolters Kluwer CCH® AnswerConnect, 2021
Permission for use granted.

Mark Luscombe
Principal Federal Tax Analyst
Mark Luscombe, a CPA and attorney, is the principal federal tax analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. He is the current chair of the Important Developments Subcommittee of the Partnership Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section and speaks on a wide range of tax topics. He authors monthly columns in Accounting Today and TAXES magazine. Prior to joining Wolters Kluwer, he was in private practice with several Chicago-area law firms where he specialized in taxation.