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I remember being confused about and scared by tax brackets when I first started paying taxes. Looking at p. 71 of the instructions is your best starting point.

The key thing to remember is that what is referred to as your tax bracket is really the uppermost rate at which you are taxed. Unless you are very wealthy, which I assume at your stage of life you are not, the bulk of your income is taxed at rates lower than your uppermost rate (tax bracket). It would be nice if someone told us this. You don't just multiply your salary by your tax bracket.

Be sure you look at the right tax rate schedule: single versus married filing jointly, since I'm guessing you are married, if you're thinking about a house. Also, don't forget, when you're estimating, that you do get deductions, but that you may also have interest/divdend/capital gains in addition to your salary. If you're married, I'd guesstimate your after deduction taxable income at 10% less than your salary (or combined salaries), 5% less if you are single.

Also, remember you get to deduct mortgage interest (if you itemize).
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