As the country emerges from the COVID pandemic and supply chain issues, along with the fallout from the war in Ukraine, the country has been experiencing high inflation rates that negatively impact the cost of everyday living, including food, gas for your vehicle, utilities and more.

But there is one shining light: tax-related inflation adjustments that will benefit most taxpayers. However, many media outlets have been touting the IRS’ recently released inflation adjustments for 2023 as if taxpayers will see the benefits this coming spring when they file their tax returns. What much of the hype fails to mention is that the 2023 increases will show up on your 2023 tax return which will be filed in 2024. So most people will have to wait until 2024 to see the approximately 7% inflation adjustment to tax benefits.

But there was an approximately 3% inflation adjustment for 2022 from which you will benefit when you file your 2022 tax return in early 2023.

If you are an employee, you may notice some reduction in the amount of income tax withheld from your wages starting in January, as the 2023 tax withholding calculation will take into account some of the items affected by the inflation adjustments, such as the increased standard deduction and widened tax rates.

Standard Deduction: The table illustrates the increases in the standard deduction for 2022 and 2023. As shown in the table, for taxpayers filing married joint returns the increase was $800 from 2021 to 2022 and $1,800 between 2022 and 2023. For a married couple filing jointly these amounts are not subject to income tax. Taking this a step further, if that married couple were in the 22% tax bracket their tax savings would be $176 (0.22 x $800) in 2022 and $396 (0.22 x $1,800) in 2023.

Basic Standard Deduction
Filing Status202120222023
Married Joint25,10025,90027,700
Head of Household18,80019,40020,800
Married Separate12,55012,95013,850

Tax Brackets: Tax brackets are also affected by the inflation adjustments as illustrated in the tables below. For example, you will note that for an unmarried taxpayer using the single filing status for 2022 the table shows that when the individual’s taxable income reaches $89,076 the marginal tax rate increases from 22% to 24%. However, that transition between 22% and 24% occurs at $95,376 for 2023, or a difference of $6,300 that is taxed at 2% less than in 2022. Inflation adjustments are made annually for all the marginal rate brackets.  

Individual Taxpayers (Single) Tax Rates
Marginal Rate2022 Taxable Income2023 Taxable Income
10.0%$0 -10,275$0 – $11,000
12.0%$10,276 – $41,775$11,001 – $44,725
22.0%$41,776 – $89,075$41,776 – $89,075
24.0%$89,076 – $170,050$95,376 – $182,100
32.0%$170,051 – $215,950$182,101 – $231,250
35.0%$215,951 – $539,900$231,251 – $578,125
37.0%$539,901 and above$578,126 and above
Heads of Household Tax Rates
Marginal Rate2022 Taxable Income2023 Taxable Income
10.0%$0-$14,650$0 – $15,700
12.0%$14,651 – $55,900$15,701 -$59,850
22.0%$55,901 – $89,050$59,851 -$95,350
24.0%$89,051- $170,050$95,351 -$182,100
32.0%$170,051 – $215,950$182,101 -$231,250
35.0%$215,951 – $539,900$231,251 -$578,100
37.0%$539,901 and above$578,101 and above
Married Individuals Filing Joint Returns and Surviving Spouses (Joint) Tax Rates
Marginal Rate2022 Taxable Income2023 Taxable Income
10.0%$0 – $20,550$0 – $20,550
12.0%$20,551- $83,550$22,001- $89,450
22.0%$83,551 – $178,150$89,451- $190,750
24.0%$178,151 – $340,100$190,751- $364,200
32.0%$340,101 – $431,900$364,201- $462,500
35.0%$431,901 – $647,850$462,501- $693,750
37.0%$647,851 and above$693,751 and above
Married Filing Separately Tax Rates
Marginal Rate2022 Taxable Income2023 Taxable Income
10.0%$0 – $10,275$0 – $11,000
12.0%$10,276 – $41,775$11,001 – $44,725
22.0%$41,776 – $89,075$44,726 – $95,375
24.0%$89,076 – $170,050$95,376 – $182,100
32.0%$170,051 – $215,950$182,101 – $231,250
35.0%$215,951 – $323,925$231,251 – $346,875
37.0%$323,926 and above$346,876 and above

Besides the standard deduction and tax brackets there are a large number of other tax attributes that are subject to inflation adjustment as well. Here are some examples. 

Tax Attributes20222023
Maximum Earned Income Tax Credit (with 3 or more children)$6,936$7,430
Adoption Credit$14,890$15,950
Maximum Foreign Earned Income Exclusion$112,000$120,000
Annual Gift Tax Exclusion$16,000$17,000

As of this writing, the IRS has not yet released the 2023 maximum contributions to IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement plans. It is anticipated that these amounts will also increase substantially due to the adjustment for inflation. 

Please contact this office if you have any questions.

If your traditional IRA is invested in stocks and/or mutual funds, the recent substantial downward slide by the stock markets may provide a unique opportunity to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA at a low cost, and then benefit when the markets recover.

Why would you want to do that? Because Roth IRA distributions provide tax free retirement benefits while payouts from Traditional IRAs are taxable.

Of course there is no assurance that the markets will not continue to decline, and this may not be the most opportune time to make a conversion in your specific circumstances but is something you may want to consider. Conversions provide the most benefit to younger individuals who can look forward to many years of the tax-free growth provided by a Roth IRA.

You don’t have to convert all of your traditional IRA in one year. You can convert what you can afford to pay the tax on each year.

Here Is How It Works – The tax code allows individuals to convert any portion of their traditional IRA to a Roth IRA by paying tax on the conversion as though taking a distribution from the traditional account. Thus, if you make a conversion you are taxed on the conversion based upon the tax rates that apply to your normal income plus the traditional IRA amount being converted.

Of course, if in 2022 you have an abnormally lower income, that could make the conversion tax even less. The following table includes the marginal tax rates for 2022.

Marginal Tax Rates for 2022
Marginal RateFiling Status

Example When Using the Table – Let’s say you are filing single and your taxable income without an IRA conversion amount is $45,000, which has a marginal rate of 12%, and you are converting $40,000. This brings your taxable income to $85,000, which is still in the 12% bracket (it’s more than $41,775 but less than $89,075, the start of the next rate). This means the tax on the conversion would be $4,800 (12% of $40,000). If you did the conversion in a year when your other income was more and when combined with the conversion amount you are in the 22% bracket, the tax on the conversion would be $8,800, $4,000 more than when you are in the 12% bracket.

Other Issues:

  • There is no income limitation on making a conversion, thus anyone can do a conversion. 
  • Higher income taxpayers can use the conversion to circumvent the AGI limits for contributing to a Roth IRA. 
  • Once a conversion is made it cannot be undone. 
  • Some individuals for various reasons have made non-deductible contributions to their traditional IRAs. For distribution or conversion purposes, all an individual’s IRAs (except Roth IRAs) are considered as one account and any distribution or converted amounts are deemed taken ratably from the deductible and non-deductible portions of the traditional IRA, and the portion that comes from the deductible contributions would be taxable. 

Give this office a call if you would like to explore the possible benefits of a traditional to Roth IRA conversion.

Bowman & Company is pleased to announce the addition of Robert J. Miller, II. Robert joins the firm as a Supervisor with a focus in Tax and will be working remotely from his office in Ohio.

Robert brings over five years of experience in public accounting to the firm. He has specific experience with fiduciary, complex and individual income tax returns, as well as working with corporations, partnerships, and real estate clients. Robert works with clients across multiple states, including California. He is a Certified Public Accountant in Ohio.

Prior to joining Bowman, Robert worked at Rea & Associates CPA in New Philadelphia, Ohio, where he performed technical reviews, collaborated with specialty tax groups to prepare cost segregation studies, and help train staff on return preparation.

Welcome to Bowman & Company, Robert!

Bowman & Company is pleased to announce the addition of Saif Halawa. Saif joins the firm as a Senior Staff Accountant with a focus in Tax and will be working remotely from Florida.

In addition to his enthusiastic and positive personality, Saif brings over seven years of experience in public accounting to the firm. He has significant experience working with individual income tax returns, as well as trusts, S corps, partnerships, and non-profit organizations.

Beofre joining Bowman, Saif was a Senior Tax Accountant for Miles & Thirion CPA Firm, Inc. in Sarasota, Florida, working with clients in a variety of industries.

Saif has successfully passed all four sections of the CPA exam and will soon be receiving his certification.

Welcome to Bowman & Company, Saif!

The Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed into law back in August, has a lesser-known provision that could benefit many small business startups, allowing them to potentially double the amount of the research and development tax credit they can claim from $250,000 to $500,000 per year against payroll taxes.

This little-known tax benefit for new, qualified small businesses is the ability to apply a portion of their research credit – up to $500,000 after December 31, 2022, to pay the employer’s share of their employees’ FICA withholding requirement (the 6.2% payroll tax). This is double the amount allowed under prior law. This can be quite a benefit, as in their early years, start-up companies generally do not have any taxable profits for the research credit to offset; quite often, it is in these early years when companies make expenditures that qualify for the research credit. This can substantially help these young companies’ cash flow.

Research Credit – The research credit is equal to 20% of qualified research expenditures in excess of the established base amount. If using the simplified method, the research credit is equal to 14% of qualified research expenditures in excess of 50% of the company’s average research expenditures in the prior three years.

Qualified Research – Research expenditures that qualify for the credit generally include spending on research that is undertaken for the purpose of discovering technological information. This information is intended to be useful in the development of a new or improved business component for the taxpayer relating to new or improved functionality, performance, reliability, or quality.

Qualified Small Business (QSB)– To apply the research credit to payroll taxes, a company must be an aQSB and must not be a tax-exempt organization. A QSB for purposes of this credit is a corporation or partnership with these criteria:

  1. The entity does not have gross receipts in any year before the fourth preceding year. Thus, the payroll credit can only be taken in the first 5 years of the entity’s existence. However, this rule does not require a business to have been in existence for at least 5 years.
  2. The entity’s gross receipts for the year when the credit is elected must be less than $5 million.

Any person (other than a corporation or partnership) is a QSB if that person meets the two requirements above after taking into account the person’s aggregate gross receipts received for all the person’s trades or businesses.

Example – The taxpayer is a calendar-year individual with one business that operates as a sole proprietorship. The taxpayer had gross receipts of $4 million in 2022. For the years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, the taxpayer had gross receipts of $1 million, $7 million, $4 million, and $3 million, respectively; the taxpayer did not have gross receipts for any taxable year prior to 2018. The taxpayer is a qualified small business for 2022 because he had less than $5 million in gross receipts for 2022 and did not have gross receipts before 2018 (the beginning of the 5-taxable-year period that ends in 2022). The taxpayer’s gross receipts in the years 2018-2021 are not relevant in determining whether he is a qualified small business in the taxable year 2022. Because the taxpayer had gross receipts in 2018, the taxpayer will not be a qualified small business for 2023, regardless of his gross receipts in that year. 

The research credit must first be accrued back to the preceding year, where it must be used to offset any tax liability for that year. Then, the excess, up to $500,000 maximum, (up from a maximum of $250,000 in years before January 2023) can be used to offset the 6.2% employer payroll tax. Any amount not used is carried forward to the next year.

This expanded R&D tax credit won’t show up on tax returns until 2024 since it can first be claimed for the tax year 2023.

If you have questions related to the research credit or if your business could benefit from using the credit to offset payroll taxes, please give this office a call.