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2024 Tax Season: Choosing the Right Filing Status and Understanding Marginal Tax Brackets

2024 Tax Season: Choosing the Right Filing Status and Understanding Marginal Tax Brackets

| February 20, 2024

As the 2024 tax season approaches, it's essential to understand the various filing statuses available and how they can impact your tax situation. Whether you're single, married, a widow or widower, or head of household, selecting the appropriate filing status can significantly affect your tax liabilities and benefits. Here's a breakdown of the filing statuses and key tax brackets for the upcoming tax year.


Head of Household:

This filing status is suitable for unmarried taxpayers who are supporting at least one qualifying person and paying more than 50% of the costs to maintain a home.

Qualified Widow or Widower:

For those who recently lost a spouse and are supporting a child at home, this status allows you to file jointly in the year your spouse died if you could have filed jointly before their passing.

Married Filing Jointly:

Couples combine their income and deduct allowable deductions and credits on the same tax return forms, potentially reducing their overall tax liability.

Married Filing Separately:

This status is for high-income earners who are married, individuals suspecting their spouses of hiding income, those contemplating divorce, or taxpayers whose spouses have tax liability issues.

Single:

Unmarried individuals who don't qualify for another filing status can use this status. Notably, depending on your state, if you're legally divorced by the last day of the year, the IRS considers you unmarried for the entire year.


Understanding the marginal tax brackets for 2024 is crucial for effective tax planning:

  • 10% Tax Rate: Applies to income of $11,600 or less for singles, $23,200 or less for married couples.
  • 12% Tax Rate: Applies to income over $11,600 for singles, over $23,200 for married couples.
  • 22% Tax Rate: Applies to income over $47,150 for singles, over $94,300 for married couples.
  • 24% Tax Rate: Applies to income over $100,525 for singles, over $201,050 for married couples.
  • 32% Tax Rate: Applies to income over $191,950 for singles, over $383,900 for married couples.
  • 35% Tax Rate: Applies to income over $243,725 for singles, over $487,450 for married couples.
  • 37% Top Tax Rate: Applies to income over $609,350 for singles, over $731,200 for married couples.

Additionally, here are some notable changes for the 2024 tax year:

  • Standard Deduction: Married couples filing jointly can claim $29,200 (an increase of $1,500 from 2023), while single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately can claim $14,600. Heads of households can claim $21,900 (an increase of $1,100 from 2023).
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): The EITC amount jumps to $7,830 for qualifying taxpayers with three or more children.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Contributions: The IRS limit for 2024 FSA contributions is now $3,200.
  • Gift Tax Exclusion: You can give up to $18,000 in gifts in 2024 without paying taxes.
  • Estate Tax Exemption: The IRS estate tax exemption rose to $13.61 million.


Understanding these filing statuses, tax brackets, and key changes for the 2024 tax year can help you make informed decisions and maximize your tax benefits. If you need any assistance with your taxes in 2024, please reach out to Anne to schedule a meeting.