2007 Inflation Adjustments Widen Tax Brackets, Expand Tax Benefits
Personal exemptions and standard deductions will rise, tax brackets will widen and income limits for IRAs will increase in 2007, thanks to inflation adjustments announced today by the Internal Revenue Service.
By law, the dollar amounts for a variety of tax provisions must be revised each year to keep pace with inflation. As a result, more than three dozen tax benefits, affecting virtually every taxpayer, are being adjusted for 2007. Key changes affecting 2007 returns, filed by most taxpayers in early 2008, include the following:
· The value of each personal and dependency exemption, available to most taxpayers, will be $3,400, up $100 from 2006.
· The new standard deduction will be $10,700 for married couples filing a joint return (up $400), $5,350 for singles and married individuals filing separately (up $200) and $7,850 for heads of household (up $300). Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.
· Tax-bracket thresholds will increase for each filing status. For a married couple filing a joint return, for example, the taxable-income threshold separating the 15-percent bracket from the 25-percent bracket will be $63,700, up from $61,300 in 2006.
In 2007, for the first time, inflation adjustments will raise the income limits that apply to the retirement savings contributions credit, contributions to a Roth IRA and deductible contributions to a traditional IRA where the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work.
Choose Your Correct Filing Status
Your federal tax filing status is based on your marital and family situation. It is an important factor in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction and your correct amount of tax.
Your marital status on the last day of the year determines your status for the entire year. If more than one filing status applies to you, you may choose the one that gives you the lowest tax obligation.
There are five filing status options:
1. Single. Generally, if you are unmarried, divorced or legally separated according to your state law, your filing status is Single.
2. Married Filing Jointly. If you are married, you and your spouse may file a joint return. If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry, you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death.
3. Married Filing Separately. Married taxpayers may elect to file separate returns.
4. Head of Household. You must be unmarried and paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for you and a qualifying person.
5. Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child. If your spouse died during 2004 or 2005, you have a qualifying child and meet certain other conditions; you may be able to choose this filing status.
Chuck is managing partner of Chuckuemeka & Associates, a nationally focused CPA firm specializing in Accounting, Auditing, Consulting and Tax Advising.