2015 tax change announcement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
On October 30, under Revenue Procedure 2014-61 2014, the IRS announced its 2015 annual inflation adjustments for more than 40 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules, and other tax changes as follows:
1- The tax rate of 39.6 percent affects singles whose income exceeds $413,200 ($464,850 for married taxpayers filing a joint return), up from $406,750 and $457,600, respectively. The other marginal rates – 10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent – and the related income tax thresholds are described in the revenue procedure.
2- The standard deduction increases to $6,300 for singles and married persons filing separate returns and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly, up from $6,200 and $12,400, respectively, for tax year 2014. The standard deduction for heads of household increase to $9,250, up from $9,100.
3- The limitation for itemized deductions of individuals begins with incomes of $258,250 or more ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly).
4- The personal exemption rises to $4,000, up from the 2014 exemption of $3,950. However, the exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $258,250 ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $380,750 ($432,400 for married couples filing jointly.)
5- The Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount is $53,600 ($83,400, for married couples filing jointly). The 2014 exemption amount was $52,800 ($82,100 for married couples filing jointly).
6- The maximum Earned Income Credit amount is $6,242 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children, up from a total of $6,143 for tax year 2014. The revenue procedure has a table providing maximum credit amounts for other categories, income thresholds and phaseouts.
7- Estates of decedents who die during 2015 have a basic exclusion amount of $5,430,000, up from a total of $5,340,000 for estates of decedents who died in 2014.
8- The exclusion from tax on a gift to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen is $147,000, up from $145,000 for 2014.
9- The foreign earned income exclusion breaks the six-figure mark, rising to $100,800, up from $99,200 for 2014.
10- The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000.
11- The annual dollar limit on employee contributions to employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending arrangements (FSA) rises to $2,550, up $50 dollars from the amount for 2014.
12- Under the small business health care tax credit, the maximum credit is phased out based on the employer’s number of full-time equivalent employees in excess of 10 and the employer’s average annual wages in excess of $25,800, up from $25,400 for 2014.
Zaher Fallahi is a California Tax Attorney, CPA, practices in Los Angeles (310) 719-1040 and Orange County (714) 546-4272, and assists taxpayers including Americans living abroad in resolving their tax problems, e-mail: [email protected]