Company News

Thank You Inflation!

The IRS announces incremental adjustments to tax benefits every year tied to inflation. After a year of the highest inflation growth in four decades, the IRS just announced some of the largest adjustments in history with changes being made to individual income tax brackets and increases to key tax deductions and credits for tax year 2023. The most noteworthy increases being an approximate 7% increase of standard deduction amounts, income tax brackets and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).


Standard Deduction

The IRS reports that close to 90% of taxpayers now take the standard deduction instead of itemizing their deductions. With these recently announced inflation adjustments, even more people will likely be claiming the standard deduction instead of itemizing their deductions—since their standard deductions may be more. For single taxpayers and those married filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $13,850 for 2023 (up $900 from the $12,950 in tax year 2022). The 2023 standard deduction for couples married filing jointly is $27,700 (up $1,800 from $25,900 in tax year 2022). For those filing head of household, the standard deduction will be $20,800 for tax year 2023 (up $1,400 from $19,400 amount for tax year 2022).  These are the largest adjustments to deductions since 1985 when the IRS began the annual inflationary adjustments.


Marginal Tax Rates

For tax year 2023, the top marginal tax rate will remain at 37% for individual single taxpayers with incomes greater than $578,125 ($693,750 for married couples filing jointly).  The other marginal rates are:

  • 35% for single taxpayers with incomes over $231,250 ($462,500 for married couples filing jointly).
  • 32% for single taxpayers with incomes over $182,100 ($364,200 for married couples filing jointly).
  • 24% for single taxpayers with incomes over $95,375 ($190,750 for married couples filing jointly).
  • 22% for single taxpayers with incomes over $44,725 ($89,450 for married couples filing jointly).
  • 12% for single taxpayers with incomes over $11,000 ($22,000 for married couples filing jointly).
  • 10% for single taxpayers with incomes of $11,000 or less ($22,000 for married couples filing jointly).


Capital Gain Tax Rates

Generally, capital gains are profits made from a sale of assets and investments, including stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency and real estate. How long someone has held the asset (short- vs. long-term) will determine how it is taxed. Capital gain tax rates range from 0% – 20% depending on the taxpayer’s income levels.  For tax year 2023, a capital gains rate of 15% applies if taxable income is more than $44,625, but less than or equal to $492,300 for a single filer (or more than $89,250 up to $553,850 for those married filing joint returns). The top rate of 20% will not apply until single filers income is more than $492,300 or more than $553,850 for married filing joint filers.


Earned Income Tax Credit

EITC is the country’s largest program for taxpayers with low to moderate income levels, with millions of Americans receiving EITC each year. For tax year 2023, the maximum EITC amount is $7,430 for qualifying taxpayers who have three or more qualifying children. This amount is up from $6,935 for tax year 2022.


Health Flexible Spending Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts

Beginning in tax year 2023, the dollar limitation for employee salary reductions for contributions to health flexible spending arrangements increases to $3,050. For cafeteria plans that allow for the carryover of unused dollars, the maximum carryover amount will be $610.


For tax year 2023, Medical Savings Accounts for individuals who have self-only coverage, the plan must have an annual deductible that is not less than $2,650, but not more than $3,950. For self-only coverage, the maximum out-of-pocket expense amount is $5,300. For family coverage, the annual deductible is not less than $5,300, but the deductible cannot be more than $7,900. For family coverage, the out-of-pocket expense limit is $9,650 for tax year 2023.


Payroll Taxes

Employers and employees are required to have a percent of their wages withheld for taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, or FICA.  FICA payroll taxes are composed of Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes. The maximum amount of earnings subject to these payroll taxes will increase in 2023 to $160,200 up from the $147,000 in 2022.  On a side note — Social Security recipients will see a major increase in their monthly benefits in 2023 as the federal safety net races to keep up with high inflation. The benefits increase in 2023 is the largest such raise in 40 years.


Other tax year 2023 changes

  • Fringe benefits: The monthly limit for tax-free qualified public transportation and parking fringe benefits increases to $300, up $20 from $280 monthly limitation for 2022.
  • Foreign earned income exclusion: For taxpayers earning foreign income, the income exclusion for tax year 2023 is $120,000, up from $112,000 for tax year 2022.
  • Qualified adoption expenses: The maximum credit allowed for adoptions for tax year 2023 is up to $15,950, up from the maximum of $14,890 for 2022.
  • Gift tax: For those gifting, the annual exclusion for gift tax increases to $17,000 per recipient for calendar year 2023, up from $16,000 for calendar year 2021.
  • Estate tax: The estate tax threshold, often used by the wealthiest Americans to shield inherited assets from levies, will jump to $12.9 million from $12.1 million.