IRS Announces Higher Tax Brackets and Standard Deductions for 2023
The IRS has made a lot of changes to individual tax brackets, deductions, and credits for 2023 to account for inflation.
Inflation is currently at its highest level in four decades, so it's not surprising that it's led to some major price increases. Some taxpayers may benefit from the changes next year.
Why The Increase?
The increased limits are intended to avoid "bracket creep," which can push workers who receive annual cost-of-living pay increases into higher tax brackets even if their standard of living hasn't changed. The IRS makes such adjustments on an annual basis, but due to this year's high inflation, many of the changes are more significant than in a typical year. Americans have to deal with persistently high inflation, which is hurting their ability to buy things because average wage increases aren't keeping up with the sharp rise in prices.
Is This a Good Thing?
Some taxpayers may get a break if they fall into a lower tax bracket because of the higher provision thresholds. For example, a married couple earning $200,000 in both 2022 and 2023 would save $900 in taxes the following year because more of their income would be taxed at a lower rate. On October 18, the IRS announced the following changes. The provisions that take inflation into account will go into effect for the 2023 tax year. In early 2024, taxpayers will file their 2023 tax returns.
The standard deduction is used by people who do not itemize their taxes, and it reduces the amount of income that must be taxed.
- For married couples filing jointly, the standard deduction will go up to $27,700 from $25,900 this tax year. That's a $1,800 increase, or a 7% increase.
- For single taxpayers and married people who file their taxes separately will go up from $12,950 to $13,850. This represents a 6.9% increase.
- For heads of households will increase to $20,800 in 2023, up from $19,400 this year. This represents a 7.2% increase.
The flip side of this is that itemizing deductions will be more difficult in 2023. This means that your tax payments, mortgage interest, and charitable contributions will be less likely to provide you with a tax break next year.
The standard deduction is taken by the majority of taxpayers, especially since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 enacted a more generous deduction. After the tax law was changed, only about 14% of taxpayers itemized, which is a 17-point drop from before the law was passed.
The IRS is raising tax brackets by about 7% for each type of tax filer, such as singles and married couples. The top marginal rate, or the highest tax rate based on income, remains at 37% for single taxpayers earning more than $578,125 or married couples earning more than $693,750.
The lowest rate will stay at 10% for single people making less than $11,000 and for married couples making less than $22,000. Tax brackets indicate the percentage of your income that will be taxed. A common misconception is that you will pay the highest rate on all of your income, but this is incorrect.
Consider a single taxpayer earning $110,000 per year. In 2023, she will take a $13,850 standard deduction, lowering her taxable income to $96,150. She will pay:
1. 10% tax on the first $11,000 of her earnings, or $1,100 in taxes
2. 12% tax on earnings between $11,000 and $44,735, or $4,048
3. 22% tax on income between $44,735 and $95,375, or $11,140
4. 24% tax on the portion of her income between $95,374 and her taxable income limit of $96,150, or $775
She'll pay the IRS $17,063 in taxes, for an effective tax rate of 17.7% on her taxable income.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Flexible spending accounts allow employees to put money in an account that can be used to pay for medical expenses up to the IRS limit. Many workers benefit from tax savings because the funds are taken from their accounts pre-tax.
The new IRS limit for FSA contributions in 2023 is $3,050, a 7% increase over the current tax year's limit of $2,850. Because employees set their FSA limits in the fall, ahead of the new calendar year, people will be deciding on their contributions within the next few weeks, based on the new IRS threshold.
Earned Income Tax Credit
The maximum amount for households claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit will be $7,430 for those with at least three children, up from $6,935 in the current tax year, according to the IRS.
Capital Gains Tax Brackets
Capital gains, or profits from investments or other assets, are taxed differently than earned income, with different brackets and rates. According to the IRS, the income thresholds for capital gains taxes are also being adjusted due to inflation.
For example, in 2022, single taxpayers earning less than $41,675 will not be required to pay capital gains taxes on their investments. In 2023, the threshold will rise by about 7% to $44,625 per year. Single taxpayers earning more than that amount must pay a 15% capital gains tax, while those earning more than $492,300 in 2023 must pay a 20% capital gains tax.
Bigger Gift Exclusion
People can also give up to $17,000 in gifts without paying taxes in 2023, up from $16,000 this year.
Estate Tax Limit
In 2023, wealthy Americans' estates will also benefit from a larger tax break. The IRS will exempt up to $12.92 million from the estate tax, up from $12.06 million in 2022—a 7.1% increase.
Here are the new ordinary income tax brackets for 2023:
We hope this information was helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. We’d be happy to chat with you.
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