Skip to main content

The laws that stipulate how we must handle our personal tax situation are complex and dynamic. Changes can be built into existing statutes and shifting government priorities can also lead to adjustments to the rules.

For example, SECURE 2.0, the 2022 law designed to bolster retirement savings, has over 90 provisions with different effective dates.

Staying on top of what’s new in tax, and making the most of the changes, is an important part of the financial picture for most individuals.

Below are ten key changes in tax law for 2024:

  1. Standard Deductions: Married couples get $29,200 plus $1,550 for each spouse 65 or older. Singles can claim $14,600, or $16,550 if age 65 or older.
  2. Income Tax Brackets: Income tax rates are unchanged, but the tax brackets have widened out. For example, in 2023, income from $0 – $22,000 was federally taxed at 10%, and income from $22,001 – $89,450 was taxed at 12%. For 2024, the upper bound of the 10% bracket shifts to $23,200, and the 12% range adjusted to $23,201 – $94,300.
  3. Capital Gains Tax: Tax rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends do not change, but income thresholds to qualify for the various rates go up. For example, the 0% rate for capital gains applies at taxable incomes up to $94,050 for joint filers and $47,025 for singles.
  4. Payroll Taxes: The Social Security annual wage base for 2024 is $168,600, which is an $8,400 hike. The Social Security tax rate on employers and employees remains 6.2%, and both pay the 1.45% Medicare tax on all compensation, with no cap.
  5. 401(k): the maximum contribution is $23,000. People born after 1975 can contribute an extra $7,500.
  6. IRA & Roth Contributions: the contribution cap for IRA and Roth accounts is $7,000 for those up to age 49. If you are age 50 older, the cap is $8,000.
  7. Roth IRA Ceilings: Contributions phase out with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $230,000 to $240,000 for couples and $146,000 to $161,000 for singles.
  8. IRA Deduction Phaseouts: Couples covered by 401(k)s begin to lose a portion of the tax deduction benefit at $123,000 of AGI and lose it completely at $143,000. For singles, the range is $77,000 – $87,000. If only one spouse is covered by a plan, the phaseout range for deducting pay-ins for the uncovered spouse is $230,000 – $240,000.
  9. QCDs:The Qualified Charitable Distribution cap is indexed to inflation, so IRA owners 70 1/2 and older can transfer up to $105,000 in 2024 from their IRAs directly to charity without having to pay tax on the withdrawal.
  10. 529s: Funds in 529 education accounts can be rolled over tax-free to a Roth IRA. There is a $35,000 lifetime cap and the 529 must be open for more than 15 years.