(This is income tax only: Social Security is a separate calculation.)
How to Reduce Your Taxes
As complicated as the tax code is, it's built around a philosophy that actually makes sense:
the government will reward intelligent behavior with a tax break.
A few obvious suggestions:
Don't Churn Your Portfolio
You want to pay the long term capital gains rate, and pay that as infrequently as possible.
(Many index funds are low-churn and tax efficient.)
Open a Retirement Account
A deductible IRA gives you a negative adjustment, lowering your taxable income.
(A Roth IRA gives you a tax break later.)
Have "Good" Debt
Credit card debt is bad debt, but a long-term mortgage is very good debt - a fixed, low interest rate, plus a tax break that shows up as an itemized deduction.
Give to Charity
Another deduction, plus you'll make people think you're nice.
Tax Diagram: Which Rates Apply, and Where?