2014 TAXES AND TIDBITS

 

2014 Standard Deduction Amounts

There are 2 main types of tax deductions: the standard deduction and itemized deductions. The standard deduction, which is subtracted from your AGI, reduces your taxable income and usually changes each year to reflect inflation.

     Filing Status                           Standard Deduction

  1. Single                                   $  6,200
  2. Married Filing Jointly            $12,400
  3. Married Filing Separately     $  6,200
  4. Head of Household              $  9,100

The additional standard deduction for people who have reached age 65 (or who are blind) is $1,200 for married taxpayers or $1,550 for unmarried taxpayers.

 2014 Personal Exemption Amount and Phaseout

The personal exemption amount for 2014 is increased to $3,950.

The personal exemption is subject to a phaseout. Specifically, the total personal exemptions to which you’re entitled will begin to be reduced  as your adjusted gross income (that is, the bottom line of the first page of your Form 1040) exceeds a certain threshold amount (adjusted for inflation for 2014):

  • $254,200 for single taxpayers,
  • $305,050 for married taxpayers filing jointly,
  • $279,650 for taxpayers filing as head of household, and
  • $152,525 for married taxpayers filing separately.

“Pease” Limitation on Itemized Deductions

The amount of itemized deductions which you are allowed to claim is reduced by 3% of the amount by which your adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts. These threshold amounts are the same as the threshold amounts listed above for the personal exemption phaseout. However there are two important exceptions to this rule:

  1. Your itemized deductions cannot be reduced by more than 80% as a result of this limitation, and
  2. Your itemized deductions for medical expenses, investment interest expense, casualty/theft losses, and gambling losses are not reduced as a result of this limitation.

Non-Changes to Taxes on Investment Income

Because of the permanent changes implemented by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, qualified dividends and long-term capital gains will be subject to the same 0%, 15%, and 20% tax rates as last year, depending on which tax bracket the income falls into.

In addition, the 3.8% tax on net investment income is unchanged, because the threshold amounts (adjusted gross income of $200,000 if single or $250,000 if married filing jointly) are not indexed for inflation.

AMT Exemption Amount

The exemption amount for the Alternative Minimum Tax is now permanently indexed to inflation. The following are the AMT exemptions for 2014:

  • $52,800 for single taxpayers,
  • $82,100 for married taxpayers filing jointly, and
  • $41,050 for married taxpayers filing separately.

IRA and 401(k) Contribution Limits

For 2014, most retirement account contribution limits remain unchanged:

  • $5,500 for Roth and traditional IRAs, with an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 for people age 50 or older, and
  • $17,500 for 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans, with an additional catch-up contribution of $5,500 for people age 50 or older.

The maximum possible contribution for defined contribution plans (e.g., for a self-employed person with a sufficiently high income contributing to a SEP IRA) is increased from $51,000 to $52,000.

Salary reduction contributions (SIMPLE IRA)

The amount the employee contributes to a SIMPLE IRA cannot exceed $12,000 in 2014 and $12,500 in 2015.

If an employee participates in any other employer plan during the year and has elective salary reductions under those plans, the total amount of the salary reduction contributions that an employee can make to all the plans he or she participates in is limited to $17,500 in 2014 and $18,000 in 2015.

  • Catch-up contributions. If permitted by the SIMPLE IRA plan, participants who are age 50 or over at the end of the calendar year can also make catch-up contributions. The catch-up contribution limit for SIMPLE IRA plans is $2,500 in 2014 and $3,000 in 2015.