New Deduction Phase-outs for 2013 Tax Returns

Upper-income US taxpayers should be aware that new deduction phase-out IRS rules in effect for 2013 tax returns to be filed in 2014 may increase their tax liabilities or reduce refunds. Two new important changes for high-earning individuals or couples are the new itemized deduction phase-outs and personal and dependent exemption deduction phase-outs. Because of these changes in the deduction phase-out rules, along with other new IRS rules that we have covered in previous articles, the necessity for proper tax planning will only increase in future years.

This article will briefly explain the changes in the deduction phase-out rules; it is not intended to convey tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax attorney if you have further questions. Sherayzen Law Office, PLLC can assist you in all of your tax and legal needs.

New Itemized Deduction Phase-Out Changes

Under the new US tax rules, the amount of itemized deductions that high-earning individuals or couples may take on Form 1040 is subject to a phase-out limitation. Specifically, allowable itemized deductions will be reduced by 3% of the amount of adjusted gross income (AGI) above the certain income thresholds (however, this reduction will not exceed 80% of the original total amount of a taxpayer’s itemized deductions).

The income thresholds are the following: $250,000 for single individuals, $300,000 for married filing jointly couples, $150,000 for married filing separately couples, and $275,000 for heads of households. As an example, consider a married couple filing jointly with AGI of $500,000, and $50,000 of original itemized deductions for Schedule A. Because their AGI is $200,000 over the income threshold, their allowable itemized deductions will be reduced by 3% of the excess ($200,000 multiplied by 3%, equaling $6,000). Thus, their allowable itemized deductions will be reduced to $44,000.

New Personal and Dependent Exemption Deduction Phase-Out Changes

While under the general IRS rule, the amount that taxpayers may deduct for each applicable exemption increased from 2012 (at $3,800) to 2013 (now $3,900), certain taxpayers may lose some or all of the benefit of their exemptions if their AGI exceeds certain thresholds under the new Personal Exemption Phase-out (PEP). Under this rule, the dollar amount of each personal exemption must be reduced from its original value by 2 percent for each $2,500 or part of $2,500 ($1,250 for married filing separately) that AGI is above the above specified income thresholds.
For 2013 tax year returns, the phase-out starts at the following amounts: $250,000 for single individuals, $300,000 for married filing-jointly couples and qualifying widowers, $150,000 for married filing separately returns, and $275,000 for heads of households. If taxpayer’s AGI exceeds these applicable amounts by more than $122,500 ($61,250 for married filing separately returns), their deductions for exemptions amount will be reduced to zero.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Help With Your Tax and Estate Planning

Combined with the new 3.8% Medicare surtax on investment income and the new 0.9% Medicare surtax on salaries and self-employment income earned by certain high-earning individuals, and the increased threshold amount for Schedule A itemized medical expense deductions, the new phase-out rules detailed in this article will dramatically impact many taxpayers. Professional tax planning may help lower your future tax liabilities.

This is why you need to contact the experienced tax law firm of Sherayzen Law Office to help you create a thorough tax plan aimed at taking advantages of the various provisions of the U.S. tax code.