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10 things to consider as you prepare to file your 2023 taxes.

1. Income tax brackets shifted a bit

There are still seven tax rates, but the income ranges (tax brackets) for each rate have been adjusted slightly to account for inflation. Click here to view a tax reference guide that summarizes the tax rates, income ranges and other key information related to your 2023 taxes.

2. The standard deduction increased slightly

After an inflation adjustment, the 2023 standard deduction increases to $13,850 for single filers and married couples filing separately and to $20,800 for single heads of household, who are generally unmarried with one or more dependents. For married couples filing jointly, the standard deduction rises to $27,700.

3. Itemized deductions remain mostly the same

For many taxpayers, taking the higher standard deduction is more practical and saves the hassle of keeping track of receipts. But if you have enough tax-deductible expenses, you might benefit from itemizing.

The following rules for itemized deductions haven't changed much for 2023, but they're still worth pointing out.

  • State and local taxes: The deduction for state and local income taxes, property taxes, and real estate taxes is capped at $10,000.

  • Mortgage interest deduction: The mortgage interest deduction is limited to $750,000 of indebtedness. But people who had $1,000,000 of home mortgage debt before December 16, 2017, will still be able to deduct the interest on that loan.

  • Medical expenses: Only medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI) can be allocated towards your itemized deductions in 2023.

  • Charitable contributions: In 2023, the annual income tax deduction limits for gifts to public charities1 are 30% of AGI for contributions of non-cash assets—if held for more than one year—and 60% of AGI for contributions of cash. If you give both can and non-cash assets, the overall limit is generally 50% of AGI.

  • Miscellaneous deductions: Miscellaneous itemized deductions are no longer allowed.

4. IRA and 401(k) limits are slightly higher

The traditional IRA and Roth contribution limits in 2023 increased slightly from 2022. Individuals can contribute up to $6,500 to an IRA, and those age 50 and older also qualify to make an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution. In addition, the 2023 contribution limits for tax-deferred 401(k)s and Roth 401(k)s have increased to $22,500. If you're age 50 or older, you qualify to make an additional $7,500 catch-up contribution for this tax year as well.

If you're able to, consider maxing out your contributions to these accounts. Doing so can provide a huge boost to your retirement saves and potentially provide a tax deduction.

5. You can save a bit more in your health savings account (HSA)

For 2023, the maximum you can contribute to an HSA is $3,850 for an individual (up $50 from 2021) and $7,750 for a family (up $100). People 55 and older can contribute an extra $1,000 catch-up contribution.

To be eligible for an HSA, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (which usually has lower premiums as well). Learn more about the benefits of an HSA.

6. The Child Tax Credit could give you a tax break

Tax credits, which reduce the tax you owe dollar for dollar, are normally better than deductions, which reduce how much of your income is subject to tax. In 2023, the Child Tax Credit is $2,000 per child under age 17. The credit is also subject to a phase-out starting at $400,000 for joint filers and $200,000 for single filers. For other qualified dependents, you can claim a $500 credit.

7. The alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption is higher

Until the AMT exemption enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expires in 2025, the AMT will continue to affect mostly households with incomes over $500,000. For 2023, the AMT exemptions are $81,300 for single filers and $126,500 for married taxpayers filing jointly. The phase-out thresholds are $1,156,300 for married taxpayers filing a joint return and $578,150 for all other taxpayers. (Once your income for the AMT hits the phase-out threshold, your AMT exemption begins to phase out at 25 cents for every dollar over the threshold.)

8. The estate tax exemption and annual gift exclusion increased

The estate and gift tax exemption, which is indexed to inflation, rose to $12,920,000 for 2023. But the now-higher exemption is set to expire at the end of 2025, meaning it could be essentially cut in half at that time if Congress doesn't act.

The annual gift exclusion, which allows you to give money to your loved ones each year without incurring any tax liability or using up any of your lifetime estate and gift tax exemption, increases to $17,000 per recipient (up $1,000 from 2022).

9. Required minimum distributions (RMDs)

If you're age 73 or older, make sure you've taken your required minimum distribution (RMD) from your retirement accounts before the end of the year or else you face a 25% penalty on any undistributed funds (unless it's your first RMD, in which case you can wait until April 1, 2024).

If you haven't contributed to your retirement accounts already, now is the time. Review your earnings for the year and take advantage of any deductions that can lower your tax bill. Tax season will be here before you know it, and it's never too early to start preparing.

10. Mileage rates

Beginning on January 1, 2023, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) are as follows:

  • 65.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3 cents from the midyear increase setting the rate for the second half of 2022.

  • 22 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes for qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, consistent with the increased midyear rate set for the second half of 2022.

  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations; the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2022.

These rates apply to electric and hybrid-electric automobiles, as well as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.

Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, you should consult with a qualified tax advisor. Click here to contact us or call 855-877-9807.

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