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Tax Changes for 2013

by Cochran,Robert Lee last modified Jan 18, 2013 02:29 PM

The Internal Revenue Service announced annual inflation adjustments for tax year 2013, including the tax rate schedules, and other tax changes from legislation passed as the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

The tax items for 2013 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following changes.

  • The employee tax rate for social security is 6.2%.  Previously, the employee tax rate for social security was 4.2%.  The employer tax rate for social security remains unchanged at 6.2%.  The social security wage base limit for 2013 is $113,700.  The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2012.  There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax.
  • In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1.45% employers must withhold a 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages paid to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year.  Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee.  There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax.  All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold.
  • Beginning in tax year 2013 (generally for tax returns filed in 2014), a new tax rate of 39.6 percent has been added for individuals whose income exceeds $400,000 ($450,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return).  The other marginal rates -- 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent --remain the same as in prior years; however, periodic federal tax withholding rates increased between 2.2% and 2.9% for all employees.
  • The standard deduction rises to $6,100 ($12,200 for married couples filing jointly), up from $5,950 ($11,900 for married couples filing jointly) for tax year 2012.
  • The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 added a limitation for itemized deductions claimed on 2013 returns of individuals with incomes of $250,000 or more ($300,000 for married couples filing jointly).
  • The personal exemption rises to $3,900, up from the 2012 exemption of $3,800.  However beginning in 2013, the exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $250,000 ($300,000 for married couples filing jointly.)
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount for tax year 2013 is $51,900 ($80,800, for married couples filing jointly), set by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which indexes future amounts for inflation.  The 2012 exemption amount was $50,600 ($78,750 for married couples filing jointly).
  • The maximum Earned Income Credit amount is $6,044 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children, up from a total of $5,891 for tax year 2012.
  • Estates of decedents who die during 2013 have a basic exclusion amount of $5,250,000, up from a total of $5,120,000 for estates of decedents who died in 2012.
  • For tax year 2013, the monthly limitation regarding the aggregate fringe benefit exclusion amount for transit passes and transportation in a commuter highway vehicle is $245, up from $240 for tax year 2012 (the legislation provided a retroactive increase from the $125 limit that had been in place).
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