The tax tables are useful tools with corresponding data that help determine a taxpayer's tax liability. They can appear confusing at first glance, but if you already know the particulars of your filing status (i.e. jointly, income amount) you can figure out what you are going to be expected to pay to the IRS.
The tables work like this:
You will need to determine if you are filing individually or if you and your partner are filing jointly. After filling out some of your Form 1040, reference line 43 to locate your taxable income. Find the line which your taxable income falls in. Then find the column for the selected filing status. Trace the taxable income line to where the filing status column meets it. This is the amount that you will enter on line 44.
For example: If you and your partner were filing jointly in 2009, and your taxable income was $25,300. Following the two lines together will show that the tax liability for such a circumstance will equate to $2,964.