Tax changes occur from year to year in order to accommodate new tax guidelines for the year as well as inflation. The good news is that the IRS does provide some details about the changes in the form of helpful bulletins and useful articles. These are a few of the highlights you need to know about for the changes to expect for the 2014 tax year.
Most people hear the word inflation and instantly begin clenching their teeth. No one wants to see prices or interest rates rise. However, when it comes to taxes, the tax code adjusts in order to account for inflation, which can result in modest savings for the average taxpayer. In 2014, for example, a married couple filing jointly whose total taxable income is $100,000 will pay $145 less in taxes for 2014 than they did in 2013.
Standard deductions for singles and married people who file individually increase in 2014 from $6,100 to $6,200. The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly increases to $12,400. Head of household deductions also increase from $8,950 to $9,100.
One deduction that’s a little different is the standard deduction for those who are blind and the age of 65 or older. The deduction will remain the same ($1,200) for those who are married individuals and for surviving spouse, but will increase to $1,550 for those who are single, blind, and aged 65 or older.
While the annual “Gift Tax” threshold remains the same in 2014 at $14,000 per person, per year for individuals, the lifetime amount increases in 2014 from $5,250,000 to $5,340,000. These gifts impact your estate once you’ve died, so plan your gifting carefully.
The year 2014 marks many changes in the area of tax credits. The Earned Income Tax Credit, for instance, the maximum credit amount for earned income of married couples filing jointly with three or more children is $6,143 for 2014. The Hope Scholarship, American Opportunity, and Lifetime Learning Credits are increased to a maximum of $2,500 for 2014 with certain conditions. The Adoption Credit, also seeing changes for 2014, is $13,190 for children with special needs though that credit is reduced for people above certain income levels.
Sometimes, though, the big news is what stays the same rather than the things that have changed. Despite all the increases there are several programs that are remaining static between 2013 and 2014. Notable examples include Flexible Spending Accounts, the $5,500 limit on IRA Contributions, and the Child Care Tax Credit.
Planning ahead can help you prepare for 2014 tax changes and adjustments now rather than being taken by surprise when they arrive. Now is the time to begin planning your tax strategy for 2014 and beyond.