Certified Public Accountant

As we approach the new year, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest tax changes and plan our financial strategies accordingly. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has recently announced the annual inflation adjustments for tax year 2024, which includes various tax rate schedules and other key changes. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the 2024 tax highlights, providing you with the necessary insights and strategies to navigate the upcoming tax season.

1. Introduction

As we dive into the details of the 2024 tax highlights, it’s important to note that these adjustments primarily apply to income tax returns filed in 2025. However, understanding these changes now will empower you to make informed financial decisions throughout the year. Let’s explore the key updates that will shape the upcoming tax season.

2. Standard Deduction and Marginal Rates

The standard deduction is a crucial aspect of individual taxation, impacting the amount of income subject to taxation. For married couples filing jointly, the standard deduction for tax year 2024 rises to $29,200, a $1,500 increase from the previous year. Single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately will see their standard deduction increase to $14,600, a $750 rise. Heads of households will have a standard deduction of $21,900, an increase of $1,100.

Marginal tax rates determine the percentage of income tax owed based on income brackets. The top tax rate for individual single taxpayers with incomes exceeding $609,350 ($731,200 for married couples filing jointly) remains at 37% for tax year 2024. Other tax rates range from 35% for incomes over $243,725 ($487,450 for married couples filing jointly) to 10% for incomes of single individuals below $11,600 ($23,200 for married couples filing jointly).

3. Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is designed to ensure that high-income individuals and certain corporations pay a minimum amount of tax. For tax year 2024, the AMT exemption amount is set at $85,700, with a phase-out beginning at $609,350 for single taxpayers ($133,300 for married couples filing jointly, with a phase-out starting at $1,218,700). These thresholds have increased from the previous year, providing some relief to taxpayers subject to the AMT.

4. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a valuable benefit for low-to-moderate-income individuals and families. For tax year 2024, the maximum EITC amount for qualifying taxpayers with three or more qualifying children is $7,830, an increase from the previous year. The revenue procedure provides a comprehensive table outlining the maximum EITC amounts for different categories, income thresholds, and phase-outs.

5. Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits

Qualified transportation fringe benefits, such as employer-provided parking and transit passes, have tax implications for both employers and employees. For tax year 2024, the monthly limitation for these benefits increases to $315, up $15 from the previous limit. It’s important for employers and employees to understand these changes and plan accordingly to maximize their tax benefits.

6. Health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs)

Health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to cover qualified medical expenses. For tax year 2024, the dollar limitation for employee salary reductions for contributions to health FSAs increases to $3,200. Additionally, for cafeteria plans that allow the carryover of unused amounts, the maximum carryover amount is $640, a $30 increase from the previous year.

7. Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)

Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) offer individuals with high-deductible health plans a tax-advantaged way to save for medical expenses. In 2024, MSAs for self-only coverage must have an annual deductible not less than $2,800, up $150 from the previous year. The maximum out-of-pocket expense amount for self-only coverage is $5,550, a $250 increase.


 Some noteworthy changes include the elimination of the personal exemption, the absence of limitations on itemized deductions, and the non-adjustment of certain modified adjusted gross income amounts.

11. Actionable Strategies for 2024

Understanding the tax changes for 2024 is only the first step. To maximize your tax benefits and minimize your tax liability, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Explore Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Take advantage of the tax advantages and flexibility offered by HSAs to save for medical expenses and retirement.
  • Utilize Child Tax Credit: Leverage the expanded Child Tax Credit to reduce your tax liability and increase your overall financial well-being.
  • Monitor AMT Exposure: Stay vigilant about your Alternative Minimum Tax exposure and explore strategies to mitigate its impact on your tax liability.
  • Estate Planning: Develop an estate plan that aligns with the updated estate tax regulations and ensures the smooth transfer of assets to your beneficiaries.

12. Partnering with Ascent Tax & Advisory

Navigating the complex landscape of tax planning and preparation can be overwhelming. That’s where Ascent Tax & Advisory comes in. With our expert guidance and specialized insights, we empower individuals and businesses to make informed financial decisions and optimize their tax strategies. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing personalized service and comprehensive solutions tailored to your unique needs.

Empowering Financial Decision-Making

In conclusion, staying informed about the 2024 tax highlights and implementing strategic tax planning strategies will set you on the path to financial success. By partnering with Ascent Tax & Advisory, you can access expert guidance and leverage our specialized knowledge to navigate the intricacies of the tax system. Prepare for the upcoming tax season with confidence and take control of your financial future.