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How is the effective marginal rate defined?

The effective marginal rate, or effective marginal tax rate, is the percent of income that an individual pays in taxes.

The effective marginal tax rate is not always the same as an individual's tax bracket. Simply put, the effective marginal tax rate is the tax rate on the next dollar of ordinary income. 

The effective marginal tax rate is heavily influenced by individual circumstances, including, but not limited to, types of income, capital gains, timing of benefit distributions (qualified monies), overall deductions and the like. The overall net effect can be dramatic on the next dollar, and the effective marginal tax rate is often higher than the tax rate suggested by ordinary income tax brackets.