Former President Donald Trump overhauled the United States tax code in December 2017, introducing new income brackets and standard deduction amounts that altered how much people over 65 pay in taxes — and how they file their deductions.
According to the IRS, the standard deduction for the tax year 2022 (filed in 2023) is $12,950 for single filers, $25,900 for married couples, and $19,400 for heads of household. Standard deductions have been increased for the tax year 2023 (filed in 2024) to $13,850, $27,700, and $20,800 for singles or married couples filing separately, married couples filing jointly (and surviving spouses), and heads of household, respectively.
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If on the last day of the year, people over 65 do not itemize deductions (or are blind), you can claim an additional standard deduction. The IRS considers someone to be 65 the day before their 65th birthday. In 2023 (the tax year 2022), the standard deduction for those over 65 is $14,700 for singles, $27,300 for married filing jointly if only one partner is over 65 (or $28,700 if both are), and $21,150 for the head of household. If one or more partners in a marriage are blind, the figures become more complicated (and the standard deduction increases).
Concerning the blindness deduction: this increased standard deduction amount is available to those who are legally blind and those who are not completely blind, aside from people over 65. You may be eligible if you have a doctor’s confirmation that you can’t see better than 20/200 in your better eye with glasses or contact lenses or if your field of vision is 20 degrees or less.
Although most Americans claim a standard deduction on their tax returns, itemizing your deductions may make more sense and save you money. According to Forbes, the following people are not eligible for the standard deduction and should itemize their deductions on their tax returns:
- You are married and file separately from a spouse who itemizes.
- During the tax year, you were a non-resident alien or dual-status alien.
- Due to a change in your accounting period, you file a return for less than 12 months.
- You file as an estate or trust, a common trust fund, or a partnership.