When former President Donald Trump overhauled the U.S. tax code in Dec. 2017, new income brackets and standard deduction amounts came into effect that changed how much Americans pay in taxes — and how they file their deductions.
Per the IRS, the standard deduction amount for tax year 2022 (filed in 2023) is $12,950 for single filers, $25,900 for married couples and $19,400 for heads of household. For tax year 2023 (filed in 2024), standard deductions have been increased to $13,850, $27,700 and $20,800 for singles or married but filing separately, married couples filing jointly (and surviving spouses) and heads of household, respectively.
However, if you are 65 or older on the last day of the year and don’t itemize deductions (or are blind), you can claim an additional standard deduction. The IRS considers an individual to be 65 on the day before their 65th birthday. The standard deduction for those over age 65 in 2023 (filing tax year 2022) is $14,700 for singles, $27,300 for married filing jointly if only one partner is over 65 (or $28,700 if both are), and $21,150 for head of household. These figures become more complex (and the standard deduction increases) if one or more partners in a marriage is blind.
Concerning the blindness deduction: this increased standard deduction amount is available to those legally blind — and even for those not completely blind. If you have a doctor’s confirmation that you can’t see better than 20/200 in your better eye with glasses or contact lenses, or your field of vision is 20 degrees or less, you may qualify.
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Although the majority of Americans claim a standard deduction on their tax returns, it may make more sense and save you money to itemize your deductions. However, per Forbes, the following individuals are not eligible for the standard deduction and should be itemizing deductions on their tax return:
- You are married and file separately from a spouse who itemizes deductions.
- You were a non-resident alien or dual-status alien during the tax year.
- You file a return for less than 12 months due to a change in your accounting period.
- You file as an estate or trust, common trust fund, or partnership.
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