Have a Finance Question? Ask a Financial Expert Online.
Thank you for your question, and thanks for using JustAnswer.com.
First and foremost I would like to explain tax brackets to you. lowering your tax bracket won't lower your overall tax, except to the extent that you have reduced your taxable income.
Our tax system is tiered. You pay 10% tax on income in that bracket, then 15% on the next part of your earnings in that bracket, then 25%. Being in the 25% tax bracket simply means that your last dollar of earnings is taxed at 25%. Not 100% of your earnings.
Your taxable income is calculated by taking out the standard deduction, so I'm not sure what you mean by your taxable income being $50,096. If that's your after-tax pay for work then yes, the standard deduction will get you to the 15% tax bracket.
You may also put some of your funds in an IRA or 401(k) that would also help to lower your tax bracket as well.
You do not need to itemize to reduce your taxable income by paying into tax deferred accounts.
Do you have any further questions? If not, please take a moment to rate my response as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today. Thanks again for being a valued JustAnswer.com customer.