Personal exemptions and standard deductions will rise, tax brackets will widen and individuals will be able to make larger tax-free gifts in 2006, thanks to inflation adjustments announced today by the Internal Revenue Service.

By law, a variety of tax provisions must be revised each year to keep pace with inflation. As a result, more than three dozen tax benefits, affecting virtually every taxpayer, are being modified for 2006. Key changes affecting 2006 returns, filed by most taxpayers in early 2007, include the following:

  • The value of each personal and dependency exemption, available to most taxpayers, will be $3,300, up $100 from 2005.
  • The new standard deduction will be $10,300 for married couples filing a joint return, $5,150 for singles and $7,550 for heads of household. Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.
  • Tax bracket thresholds will increase for each filing status. For a married couple filing a joint return, for example, the taxable-income threshold separating the 15 percent bracket from the 25 percent bracket will be $61,300, up $1,900 from 2005.
  • The annual gift tax exemption will be $12,000, up $1,000 from 2005.

Revenue Procedure 2005-70, containing a complete rundown of inflation adjustments, is posted on the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-05-70.pdf.

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